“But the Lord stood by my side and gave me strength” 2 Timothy 4:17
During the Christmas season, we all carry things with us wherever we go. We carry the joy and excitement of the season as we make plans, attend parties, give gifts, and celebrate the birth of Jesus. But we also carry more difficult things, like stress and worry. Some of us carry scars of past wounds, or fresh grief. During our Bearing Christmas series, we want to talk about all of the things we carry, both good and bad, during the holiday season.
“But in the middle of it all we want to remember that we are each called to carry the most important thing of all: Hope.”
Driving a Tank
What are the things in your life that you carry? What do you bear with you, no matter where you are? A reminder of what I have been called to bear sits parked outside my house. It’s a 12-passenger van, not for commercial purposes, but for everyday use. Yes, it feels a little threatening to be driving a bus that towers over other cars, scrapes loose tree branches with its 8-foot rooftop and makes parking a challenge. But what is inside the van makes the stress of driving a tank worthwhile: my five children with the youngest just a few weeks old.
The van purchase came from a need of needing more—more space to accommodate our growing family. More is a funny thing that often packages itself to meet our desires: more space, more freedom, more money, more coffee, more vacation.
We love the idea of more, so long as it’s the sort of “more” we want. But what about when God is calling you to more? What do you do when his definition doesn’t quite line up with yours? When God calls you to carry more, are you able to bear it?
My husband and I didn’t exchange vows knowing we would have such a large family. Honestly, each child after the second has been a big step of faith into an unknown as we questioned things like health, provision, capacity, time (what’s that?). But we have learned to follow when God calls us, even when we feel incapable.
Moses felt incapable, he wasn’t a good speaker. David felt incapable, he was young and inexperienced. Paul felt incapable, his former job was to persecute the same ones he was called to disciple. Yet God called them beyond their biggest fears when they said, “yes” and stepped forward. For God always gives us the strength we need, but it may not be evident until we step out and do it. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God reminded him, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” It is in those moments when we aren’t sure that we can bear it all that God comes in and helps us.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
What is God calling you to carry? What “more” is he calling you to bear, even though you don’t feel capable? I never thought I’d be responsible for five children. There are countless ways I feel inadequate every day. But I don’t think Moses, David, or Paul stepped into their callings fully equipped to carry out the mission. It’s a daily surrender of our own control and stepping into the confidence of the Lord’s strength to carry us through.
We don’t have to bear the weight of the world, because two thousand years ago a girl named Mary bore a little baby boy. And he would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” And he would carry it all.
What about you? What is God calling you to carry that seems beyond you? Join us this Christmas season as we celebrate God’s saving grace coming into our world.