June 6

The Lord is my strength. Habakkuk 3:19 

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 

It is very hard to admit that we have some weaknesses. We usually want to seem as though we are strong, and can take care of anything that comes our way. Yet, we do have weaknesses and struggle, how great to know that the Lord can be our strength and we don’t have to do this alone. I roomed with a black woman pastor at a Lutheran conference a number of years ago – one of her common phrases was “Lord, give me strength” which she said helped her immensely over the years. 

To the Corinthians Paul is lamenting his “thorn in the flesh” and wanting God to remove it. But the answer he gets is not what he wants or expects. He hears that he is to depend on God’s grace, and let the power and glory of God be shown. The weakness of humans is seen as an opportunity for God to display His power. We, as the weak humans, would rather not have this weakness or the problems in our lives. But there are those who have encountered tragedies in their life who have then glorified God. 

Thomas Dorsey, the writer of many gospel hymns, wrote Precious Lord in 1938 after the both death of his wife in childbirth and the subsequent death of the newborn child. He was traveling at the time trying to get his gospel music accepted as appropriate for church. While he was away the message of first one and then the second death arrived. He was devastated. And after making it back home, a few years later, wrote Precious Lord with lyrics such as: take my hand, I am weak, I am torn, lead me home, through the storm to the light. 

He wrote many more gospel songs of course, including, “What Could I Do If It Wasn’t For The Lord?

[verse one]

“He’s my bread, He’s my water, He’s my life, He’s my ev’ry thing

He’s my comfort whatever years may bring

He is my rock, my mighty tow’r, He is my strength, He’s all my pow’r

What could I do, it if wasn’t for the Lord?” 

Indeed, what would any of us do if it weren’t for the Lord and His strength and grace? Habakkuk ends with the verse we have today – the Lord is my strength. 

Lord God, please forgive us for whatever seeks to separate us from you. Precious Lord, in the face of utmost unfairness, calamity and despair, may we persistently abide in your promises and claim you as our sovereign. Give us grace to live by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Chris Gabel