Finding God's love
My favourite Sunday night television viewing at the moment has to be the new SAS documentary on Channel 4. A group of determined individuals have signed up to experience what it is like to be go through the SAS recruitment programme.
They are given very difficult tests to do, testing their physical, mental and emotional reserves. The SAS staff deliberately put people in extreme situations, to observe how they cope under strain. Over the weeks we witness the weaker amongst the team being slowly eliminated. It’s a gruelling watch and one that fills the viewer with a mix of admiration and horror.
The apostle Paul could easily have got into the SAS. According to his biblical writings, he had been flogged, beaten, stoned and shipwrecked. In his lifetime he had experienced danger, toil and hardship, sleeplessness, hunger, thirst and nakedness (2 Corinthians 11:24-27).
People, it is said, are like tea bags. They don’t know how strong they are until they are in hot water. However, for Paul, it was the contrary. He wrote that when he was weak, he was strong. Strange as it sounds, when Paul felt weak, he reached out to God and asked him to strengthen him. He even wrote that he would boast of being weak, so that the power of God could be in him. He saw his own weakness not as a character deficiency, but as an opportunity to get closer to God.
We may never experience being shipwrecked or stoned like Paul, but we will all experience testing times. Christians believe that when we feel weak, God is there for us. When our own reserves are depleted, God can strengthen us. You don’t have to be a regular churchgoer or understand complex theology to get closer to God. He is always there for you because he loves you just as you are.
May the love of God strengthen you through the tough times.