We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. –2 Corinthians 4:7.
At one point during my cancer fight in 2003, I finally acknowledged the battle was too much to bear alone. Believe me, I resisted the admission as long as I could. Early on, my mantra was: “Be strong, you can beat this.” At age 44, I was relatively young and in decent physical shape. I figured I was prepared as anyone. I felt I could master physical pain after years of pushing my body in sports and construction work. I could certainly handle the emotional stress because I was a tough guy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Steel City of Champions. Plus I had been a pastor for 12 years, teaching others how to handle the most difficult trials. My natural strength held up well until the metastatic melanoma spread beyond the lymph nodes under my arm to several internal organs. Rough chemo treatments, three surgeries in a month, and a steady barrage of Stage IV complications took their toll. My illusions of strength faded to pleas for mercy. Like Peter sinking in the Sea of Galilee, I desperately reached out for help.
The Lord had been waiting all along, ready to lift me from the unstable sea of self-trust. Now years after recovering, the Lord must still continually remind me of my limitations. Perhaps my greatest deception is I prefer to fancy myself strong. In Ephesians 6:10, Paul seems to prod us past human power, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Fighting cancer and facing so many hurdles in life requires great strength. So why settle for natural strength, when we can tap the limitless supernatural strength of God Almighty, our Stronghold? When we embrace our weakness, we experience His strength. So turn to Him for the all of the strength you need. He is waiting.