Monday, March 16, 2009

Carrying


A warm spring day years ago when he was a toddler, Seth & I went to a Texas Rangers game. We sat high up from the right field foul line with few other fans around. With 20,000 empty seats there was plenty of space so we didn't sit for long. Seth wanted to roam. Up & down. Aisles to aisle. Home plate to foul pole. Right to left & back again & again & again in the picture of Ameriquest Field above. He had no concern for the game. He just toddled.

By the end of the game, going down the broad, spiralling walkway toward the exit Seth started to stumble. Weak from too many little steps around the big ballpark. Worn with blisters beginning on the sides of his sandals. I did what any Dad would do. I put him on my back to carry him. The tireless roamer laid his head on my back as I marched toward the car.

Yesterday, I was convicted by a verse:

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
Romans 8:26

I was captured by the phrase "in our weakness."

The Bible has more to say about weakness:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10


Jesus' power is made perfect in our power? No. We delight in power? No. When I am powerful, then I am strong? No.

Weakness.

Our weakness. Astheneia in Greek means our "sickness, infirmity, feebleness or frailty." Sounds like that's close to the end. Sounds bad. Sounds like surrender. Surrender of our will. Giving up our delusion of control.

Yet it is there, at the end of ourselves, that the Spirit meets us to "help" us. And from the rare category of words defined with fewer letters or syllables that than the word itself posses... that Greek word for "help", sunantilambanomai, means "to carry with."

One of its roots is lambano, to receive or take. Among its occurrences in New Testament is Matthew 8:17. It says Jesus "took up" our astheneia (weakness, infirmity). To me that means, "to carry for."

Weak?

At the end?

Who is carrying with you?

Who is carrying for you?

1 comment:

Yoli said...

Thanks, I needed that!