After my morning work-out (its still January, too early to quit on my resolution!), I read Colossians 1 in The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language, I was struck by its take on verses 9-12. They read:

9-12Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not
the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

Too often, in my obviously correct opinion :-), we get this picture of Christian endurance:

Grim determination!

When, if the Message translation is correct, we should thing of this:

Joyful endurance!

Ours is not a weight to bear, but a joy to serve. We don’t lift these weights alone, but with Christ, who strengthens us– allowing us to move mountains and endure ALL things! Ours is a joyful lifting, because God gives us a supernatural strength– when we let Him.

And that, in part, is what it means to love God. It means allowing Him to help. It means humbling ourselves and saying, “I can’t, but God can.” It means letting Him into areas of our lives that we normally keep Him out of. It means allowing His strength to be our strength, and our strength to be dedicated to serving Him.

So let’s lift joyfully! Let’s NOT grit our teeth but let’s laugh and say, with joy, “not my will, but Yours be done!” That, today, is my prayer for all of us.