Students sitting outside Bockman
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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I was raised to be a strong, independent woman. I don't just believe—I know—that I can do anything. In the first few years of my marriage (okay, still) I struggled to let my husband help me with anything. But, as I tried to do all things and be all things for all people at all times and never require any help, I found myself stressed and exhausted. Through some sage counsel I began to ask my husband to do things for me, not because I couldn't do them, but because it brought him joy to help me. I slowly realized that in allowing him to help me I was happier, less stressed and had more to give. Paul had to learn a similar lesson, that when he put his trust, hope, and strength in God he was stronger and more effective in his ministry. In our culture this is not an easy concept to understand. We need to grow in awareness that in putting our trust and strength and hope in God we are stronger, we are better, we are more hopeful.

God, help us this day and every day to put aside our need to be independent and self-made, and to put our trust and faith in you to lead us and guide us, to lighten our burden and to increase our joy. Amen.

Jennifer Beil
St. Timothy Lutheran Church,
Portland, Ore.
Master of Divinity , 2008

2 Corinthians 12:2-10 (NRSV)

2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows.
3 And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows—
4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.
5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
6 But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me,
7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.
8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me,
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.