Lately I’ve been pondering the thought…
What defines the strength and success of a woman? Maybe you can already picture someone in your mind that you consider strong and successful. Is it perhaps her list of accomplishments? Is it how often she stands up to adversity or perseveres through trials? Is it the amount of times she has walked through a fire or faced an enemy even though she was afraid? Is it her physical strength or her ability to stand out among her peers that defines her? Is it how far she pushes herself to succeed in her career? Or is it how she raises her family?
The bible shows us a picture of strength and success in a much different light than the world does. When Jesus came to this earth he could have come with the biggest fanfare and display of strength and power. But instead he chose to come in the most humblest of ways.
The people at that time needed and wanted a savior, a valiant warrior King that would come boldly with a sword in his hand ready to rescue them, conquer their enemies and free them from oppression. Instead, he lay everything down, including His crown and his glory, and came to be with us and placed himself inside the womb of a young woman. He was born in a barn… and on that night a light shone so very bright and powerful chasing away the darkness.
He didn’t enter this world by force and push his way into our lives, but instead he came gentle and humble and took the lowest position, that of a helpless baby, showing the most powerful display of extravagant love, as he walked beside us, leading us, guiding us, carrying us and giving us hope.
And in every situation he chose mercy over judgement, love and compassion over hate, and when he had the choice to gain power or position, he washed their feet, healed the sick, and ate with sinners.
So where did his strength come from? I believe Jesus went away to be with his Father and waited in his presence where his strength was renewed. We never hear what was said or shared between them, but we know how important it was for him to break away and separate himself from others and pray. Luke 6:12 says” In those days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.”
I believe the source of our strength and success comes from storing up his overflowing love and mercy that we cannot borrow or glean from others but only comes from spending time waiting in the presence of our heavenly Father where we become renewed and refreshed and more and more like our beautiful humble saviour and King. Isaiah 40:31 says “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
You see, the more time we spend with him, the more we become like him. Not so that we could make our enemies pay, but so we can learn to love our enemies. Not so we can be cheered, validated and affirmed by the world, but so we can learn to walk in humility and put others ahead of ourselves. Not so that we can be in places of power and position, but like Jesus, we would truly know what it means to be great by serving others. Matthew 20:26 says “If you want to be great,(maybe we could insert the word successful here) you must be the servant of all the others.” Unlike the world, Jesus is telling us that our goal should be to learn to serve others rather than desire for people to serve us. His example of being strong and successful wasn’t fighting his way to the top of a ladder, but it was often taking the low road.
Being a woman and walking in strength does not mean you have to fight to be above or on top of others to be successful, but neither does being a woman mean you are less than or must be beneath someone. Walking in freedom and strength means we get to walk along side of and serve others. It is a gift and a privilege. Christ gave us his strength that only comes from spending time with him, enabling us to walk beside those that feel weak and perhaps carry their burden until they feel strong again. It gives us strength to be the best parents we can be to our children, the best wife and partner to our husband and to not only face our giants like David, but to conquer them.
Some of the most successful leaders, mentors and parents who have had an incredible impact in the lives of many, had to first learn how to be a servant.
Mom’s we have been given the wonderful privilege to care for and raise up our children, and as we humbly serve them, they will learn to be like Jesus and serve others as well. As they watch you take time to wait upon and spend time with your heavenly Father, like you, they will grow to be strong and successful.