Psalm 18 verses 1-2 give us a plethora of wonderful names for our Lord! The psalmist (David for this Psalm) is filled with praise and adoration for God, who had just delivered him from the hands of his enemy, King Saul. The verses declare “I will love thee, O Lord, my Strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

To know that Jesus is my Strength has been a great comfort to me throughout my life. So many things that I have been through, I cannot imagine what it would have been like if I had had to do it on my own, but I didn’t have to. I called on Jesus, and His strength has carried me through. Although I know He has been there for me in every circumstance, there are 2 specific times when I felt His strength hold me and carry me very tangibly. Both of these times, if it had not been for the strength of my Lord lifting me up, I don’t know if I would have made it.

The first time was when I was 17 and my father lay dying in a hospital bed. I don’t know if he was saved or not; there was no outward evidence in his life. He was 51, an alcoholic, dying of cirrhosis of the liver. I was a young Christian, and remember praying for God to not let him die, and if God did, I just didn’t know if I could trust Him again or not. Sadly, my father did die, and all the way home from the hospital I remember just sobbing, curled up in a fetal position, in the back seat of the car. I also remember feeling God’s arms around me, holding me & lifting me up, and comforting me throughout the next few days especially. Instead of turning from God, I clung to God so tightly, and felt Him holding me right back. Jesus is my Strength.

The second time I literally & ‘physically’ felt God’s loving arms around me holding me and giving me His strength was when my own beautiful daughter was stillborn just 10 1/2 years ago. She was our surprise baby, not expected, but entirely wanted as soon as we knew she was there! My husband and I were like kids again, looking forward to this great gift. But this was a journey that would take us to depths in the valley that we had never experienced before when she left us for Heaven at 6 months along. I had never experienced grief so deep, heart-pain so intense, emptiness so all-encompassing, until then. I also experienced God’s loving arms so tender and His strength so strong & capable of carrying me, such as I never had before, during that time in my life. I clung to Him, drawing from His strength, moment by moment, day by day, month by month throughout that extended season of grief. JESUS IS MY STRENGTH!

Beyond giving us strength during the journey, He also gives us strength FOR the journey. Strength to accomplish what He wants us to do. Whenever I think, I can’t do that! Or, I’m not smart enough, strong enough, young enough, wise enough, etc, to be used to do this job, I am reminded that its not by my own strength that He wants me to achieve it. His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses, we are reminded by the apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12:9. There is a long list of Biblical characters who were the LAST ones we would have chosen to do a job, but God chose them and gave them His strength to accomplish it.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Phil. 4:13.

Remember, Jesus doesn’t want or expect us to do anything in our own strength. He wants us to depend on Him for His strength to do whatever He calls us to do. If He could create the world and everything in it in 6 days, I know He’s got far more than enough strength for my daily needs & trials. I just need to tap into His strength and depend on Him because Jesus IS my Strength!