February 11, 2024S
February 11, 2024
Although the solar Gregorian calendar is well into the new year, a new year is just beginning for those who follow the lunar calendar. Yesterday was the first day in the year of the Dragon for those who follow the Chinese zodiac. Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most celebrated and longest of all Asian festivals and is observed by millions of people worldwide. If you were born in these years, you are under the sign of the dragon – 1928,1940,1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024. Dragon people are energetic, loyal, self-assured, vigorous, decisive, passionate, idealistic, generous, fiery, pioneering, and strong.
Today’s Daily Word is Strength
Centered in divine strength, I am confident and peaceful.
If I find myself struggling to bear the weight of a heavy load, if I am wondering how much farther I can travel or how much longer I can carry on, I rely on my spiritual strength to keep me going.
When I align my thoughts with this divine gift and not on the weight I carry or the distance I travel, I am tapping into the power of God expressing as me. Through divine strength, I am renewed and refreshed.
I have everything I need to stay the course. Knowing the presence of God comes to me through many channels, I may ask for help and accept it graciously when it comes. I give myself breaks and make time for prayer and my other spiritual practices. Through it all, I remain strong and grateful for God within me.
Finally, be strong in the lord and in the strength of his power. - Ephesians 6:10
Although our immediate association with strength often goes to physical prowess, there are many ways in which strength is expressed in our lives. There’s strength of will, strength of resolve, strong mindedness, strength of character, spiritual strength, and many others.
Strength is the faculty of steadfastness, dependability, stability and the capacity for endurance, much like the qualities of the dragon. More than a physical endowment, it is a degree of spiritual awareness. The power of strength is not force directed outwardly through dominance, manipulation, or intimidation. Rather, it is spiritual courage and confidence that arises from within. In the words of Sharon Connors, the author of the book Adventures in Resilience, “Spiritual strength is our spiritual backbone. It empowers us to walk upright in the world, undaunted by temptation to be less than we are, unstopped by fear.”
The spiritual faculty of strength is a corner post in our lives. It is the quality of spirit and mind that allows us to overcome obstacles, to adhere to a course of action, to persevere through hardship. Strength supplies the energy to fulfill our commitments and change old habits. Anyone who has ever struggled with an addiction, serious illness, relationship challenges, life transitions or personal growth has intimate knowledge of the faculty of strength.
There have been many times in my own life that I have turned to my spiritual power of strength. As I reflected on what I would share in my message today, the event that most often surfaced in my awareness was when I divorced my husband. The decision to do so was extremely painful in itself. There was so much more to consider than myself. I would be altering four lives, two of which were my teenaged boys. I needed to make a different life choice for myself, and I didn’t want to hurt them or their dad. And yet, in my heart, I knew it was the right thing to do for their long-term happiness, as well as my own. There were many times throughout the process that I was going to stop. At the time, I was recovering from a serious injury that impacted my ability work. I had never lived on my own. As a Catholic, I would have to move through not only civil divorce, but religious excommunication. The challenges seemed too overwhelming without a guarantee of eventual okay-ness, and I was afraid. When I thought of backing out, I could feel my whole being collapsing with futility and sadness.
At all these points of hesitation, I turned to my inner faculty of spiritual strength. I opened myself in faith to the guidance of God. I took many deep breaths and made many affirmations of resolve. Each time, I could feel an inflow of energy that allowed me to go forward. Getting through that, convinced me that I could overcome almost anything.
I’m sure that you have had situations in your life that required great strength. Maybe you are going through them now. Whether past or present, take some time to remember and consider the times in your life that strength came to your aid. That same strength is within you today. It always has been and always will be. If it served you before, it will serve you now. As it serves you now, it will serve you in the future. Tapping into your spiritual faculty of strength is not only a demonstration of your resiliency, but also a pillar of confidence letting you know that whatever comes in your life, you have the power to meet it. When we align with the power of God within us, we become formidable.
I wish you every kind of blessing today. May you be at peace and know that all is well.