Strength Comes from Love
Every time my life has expanded to include more people (marriage, having kids, moving to a new nation, making new friends, leading a church) there has had to be a corresponding strengthening of my life “underground”. An enlarged life capacity has to be built on something deep and stable.
Picture this: YOUR life is a “tent” – designed to grow in capacity to eventually provide shelter for others beyond yourself. YOU have so much to give that has been uniquely entrusted to you to grow into and then steward. A bigger capacity tent (making room for others) will require stronger stakes in the ground to support the weight of a larger covering. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is the picture that’s painted for us by Isaiah in this passage from the Bible:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.”
Where does that strength for the bigger tent come from?
I believe it begins with a realization that you are loved. If I know I am loved, I become secure and strong. So, I want to drive my “stakes” down into that love, as deep as I can.
We were made to be loved, in fact that is WHY were were made. The strength, fulfillment and courage that comes from that love unlocks the potential capacity of our lives.
The book of Ephesians says “to be strengthened with might through His Spirit… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love…” (chapter 3, verses 16 and 17)
My strength comes from faith in God’s love for me as I put my stakes into that love simply by believing it every day.
Love comes from our Creator, but it is expressed through human relationships also. Each one of us needs life-giving, healthy community as the context from which we live out our lives. So we need to strengthen our stakes in that good ground too! Family is part of that. Plant yourself firmly in the love of family relationships – the ones who love and encourage you. Friendships often become one’s family if healthy family relationships aren’t present or distance separates.
One of the ancient Psalms teaches us more about how we can root our lives. “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing” (chapter 92, verse 13,14)
I’ve seen over and over again that when an individual “plants” themself in a local church (one that is healthy, loving and life-giving) their life begins to take root, they become stable, their capacity grows and they become part of that stabilizing, strengthening soil for others, even for generations to come!
Intentionally plant yourself, first in God’s love and then in the right relationships. Strengthen your stakes so that you can “grow your capacity!”