When we ask God to strengthen us for His glory, we have no idea He does it by hiding strength in the daily experiences we go through. So when we pray, He answers us by allowing us to go through situations in life that force the strength in us to break forth – this is one of God’s favourite methods of strengthening his disciples!
Ever since I encountered discipleship and began to walk with God on this noble path, there are a series of prayers we have been praying (my friends & I). We wanted to be strong in God. We had seen lots of weak Christians, people who claim to love God and they really do but faint in the days of adversity. People who follow God when things are smooth and sing a different song when things become a little tough. We saw others who pursued strongly for God while on campus and ‘the outer world’ (like I have been told since I left primary school) weakened them until they were no longer on fire for God again!
So we prayed!
So yes, we prayed and cried – Lord, strengthen me!
Make me strong in my inner man, I don’t want to be a weak Christian.
I don’t want to fail you when things get tough. Don’t let me talk so much now, jump around and excite myself so much now and then quieten out as I grow older. Don’t allow me to faint in the day of my difficulty, don’t allow this building of mine collapse when the storms begin to beat hard . . . Oh Lord, strengthen me . . . was and is still my cry!
Apparently, God was going to answer my prayer. He answers prayers, isn’t it? YES, He does. And I know as you read you could identify with such prayers. Most of us as young disciples have prayed these and similar prayers over & over again. You know how fallible you are and how weak you can be and you’ve been crying for strength. God loves to answer that prayer. He surely longs to strengthen each one of us. He knows that unless He puts His strength in us, we will like many other people, fail him in the day of adversity!
The HIDDEN Curriculum
Permit me to introduce to you an educational concept briefly. There’s something known as “Hidden Curriculum” in education. So in simple terms, a curriculum is that thing you want the students to learn as part of a program. So, it’s like the different subjects, courses, topics you need to take to graduate as an Engineer, for example.
Let’s assume I need to teach Friction. Then I group my students (groups of 5) and ask them to research on the topic, make a short video on the topic and get ready to present in class. My “Explicit Curriculum” is Friction. That’s the obvious thing they should learn. I expect that the process of research, discussing, writing, preparing the video and presenting should be more than sufficient to give them a good depth of the concept of friction.
However, as a good teacher, there’s more to that project than the obvious learning about friction. I have hidden several other skills in the experience. Working in groups develops teamwork & collaboration. My students will learn other things like resolving conflicts, leadership and working together. Making the video introduces a wide range of technology skills – taking pictures, recording video, using slideshows, basic editing etc. Presenting in class finally instils confidence, presentation skills, speaking skills etc. These are what is referred to as the hidden curriculum.
Lord Strengthen me!
How do you expect God to answer this prayer? By imparting unto you his strength (by the laying on of hands)? By giving you a bible study on “The strength of God”? Lol . . . He makes it a hidden curriculum and hides that training in a project for you! So God designs several experiences for you. He allows you to go through a difficult time. He denies you certain expected opportunities. He gives you a very difficult roommate. He allows many ‘bad’ things happen to you at the same time. He makes those who would have softened the process to forget about you so that you can go through the entire project!
Then, God, secretly behind the scene, gives you strength to bear it all. He brings you several scriptures that encourage you. When others thought you should have given up, you find yourself standing through it all. Yes, physically you’re worn out and looking bad but the real strength is found inside you. You go through the period of lack, pain, disappointments, delay etc and it lasts for weeks and sometimes even months; yet you find grace to keep going. Your elastic limit has been stretched and it looks as though you can’t take it anymore but somehow, you are still standing.
I’ve heard several of my sisters ask God to make them “Warrior Queens” and so when you see the pain, God sees the strength a Warrior Queen needs.
What you can visibly see is the explicit curriculum. You see the lack, God sees the strength and says to himself “Wait till you get out of this son, I’m making you into the man you asked me to make you into”. I’ve heard several of my sisters ask God to make them “Warrior Queens” and so when you see the pain, God sees the strength a Warrior Queen needs. When you see disappointment everywhere, God just smiles to himself and says “Relax daughter, go through this and watch yourself become the warrior queen you asked for”.
Battle Axes and Warrior Queens are not made in comfort, they are made in conflicts. Instruments of revival are not made in ease, they are made in and out of difficult times, as God weaves in various real life, future lessons into the several experiences He takes us through. Joseph could never become the prime minister in the comfort of his father’s house. God needed to weave in several lessons into his difficult journey from the pit, to being a slave in Potiphar’s house and finally to the prison. Moses couldn’t lead God’s children out as long as he remained in the palace of ease. He needed to be sent into the wilderness of training, hard work and service to build into him the shepherd heart he needed. What about Esther? And Ruth? And Paul? God strengthened them through the experiences He passed them through.
So my dear, keep praying; God will answer your prayers. And when He begins to, recognize it is Him doing it!
God bless you.
Image Credit: Crosswalk.com