I found it slightly amusing that this phrase kept bouncing around in my head today as I never really was a Simpson fan. To be fair, it does make some sense in that I am rather yellow I suppose.
I have, however, always liked this silly saying even though I have no idea where it originated. It sums up my understanding of some aspects of being a Christian leader and Pastor rather well.
This is a time in my life where I might admire Sampson but I am not about to pull down any buildings. I feel weak, vulnerable, I get tired quickly and fight getting a little self centered.
I have a love/ hate relationship with that verse where Paul says that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. It is true and I find it comforting but it not, in my opinion a call to triumphalism or an excuse to feel guilty if some things are just a bit too hard to do.
It is a bit harder to quote the verse when you are yellow and get tired walking up stairs in the evening. Tonight the resonance of that verse is a little different.
Philippians 4:12-14 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
In context, Paul is simply saying because of Jesus, he can walk faithfully in every situation. That I can accept and understand.
My wife and I are walking daily into changing realities. Tomorrow that includes surgery to help my liver heal and make me look less like a banana. The goal is to get me well enough for chemo – which will, of course, make me feel less well. Fun times!
I cannot say I am looking at the next six months and saying “ oh good I get to suffer.” I am looking ahead and saying that through the presence of the Lord, I can be content in what comes. I feel more like resting in his arms that posturing like Braveheart.
It might not be fun but I have an amazing family, loyal friends and a wonderful church to walk with on this journey.
And I will say, perhaps through gritted teeth,
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.