How do you get through what you’re going through? By grit or by grace?
The Apostle Paul prayed for his people:
“We pray you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul –
not the grim strength of gritting your teeth, but the glory strength God gives” (Colossians 1:11 Message).
There is a grim strength made entirely of our own effort, and a glory strength that’s sheer gift & grace. Only one will see us through the ‘long hauls’ of life.
The Voice Translation uses these words for Paul’s prayer:
“Strengthen them … so that they will have everything they need
to hold on and endure …”
Friend, to endure is to “remain under” something. Paul’s not praying for a power to get out, but a power to stay in. Possibly for the long haul.
Paul’s praying about staying.
- The strength to last or endure despite fatigue or difficulty
- The capacity for continuing
Quite frankly, the capacity for continuing is not the capacity I want!!
My mom always said she could do anything if she knew how long she’d have to do it. But how do you live under something for the long haul?
I’m asking you, dear friend, with crazy chronic pain,
and you over there, care-giving all day.
You, whose business has taken a hit,
and you who wake daily to an anxiety fit.
You who’s loved ones are in hard places,
and you locked into tiny, tight spaces …
How do you live under something for the long haul?
Paul describes the glory strength God gives as, “strength that endures the unendurable” (Colossians 1:11 Message). The strength of God has staying power, whereas our grim grit will get us only so far.
Friend, I pray for your relief and release! I do!! But until that day comes, I ask God to move you from the strength of grit to the strength of grace. From your effort to his. May you be “ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses [you] with inner strength and confident peace” (Philippians 4:13 Message), him whose grace is more than enough.
Not the grim strength of grit, but the glory strength of God.
From Grit to Grace: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What are you enduring right now? Go ahead and name it.
- How can you move from the grit of self-effort to the grace God gives?
- Clench your hands (well, why not your whole body?). Feel the tension involved in bracing yourself this way. We often brace in order to face, and this closes us tight.
- Now relax with hands open before you. In this position of trust, take a deep breath and focus on receiving the grace that will help you to face.
- Repeat as often as necessary.
- Our song of the week is: Strength of My Life by Leslie Phillips
- When you’re feeling weak-kneed and wobbly under the load you bear, ask God to move you from grit to grace.
- Might I pray for you? Just follow this link to a brief audio prayer related to our words this week.
Friend, until the day of your deliverance, how can you move from grit to grace in all that you face? We don’t need to do this alone. Tell me, how do you live under something for the long haul? I’d really love to know.