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My wife and I have been busily trying to get our house prepared to put on the market to sell. Of course, the reason for this is because we are moving to Guthrie due to my recent transition in ministry. We have been packing boxes as well as having people come in to do work. We are trying to freshen up the walls with paint and repair little things we’ve put off for too long.

This past weekend we had our heating and air guy come in to replace the motor on our heating unit. He also replaced the metal, overflow condensation pan located underneath the air handler in the attic. There were holes caused by rust that had eaten through various parts of the condensation pan. No doubt, the pan that was first installed years ago used to be very strong. Now I could simply poke my finger right through it with ease.

Rust is an interesting thing, don’t you think? It can take something that has strength and slowly eat it away over time. Bit by bit, rust works its caustic influence like hydrochloric acid until its victim is a shell of its original strength. What formerly was usable now becomes an item to be replaced – something to be discarded.

I think the devil works like this. He tries to take Christians and weaken them slowly over time. Sometimes he comes at us with heavy things that threaten us; at other times he simply eats at our resolve, slowly, irritatingly, aggravatingly making it worse and worse and worse. A confessor of Christ who starts off with confidence in the Lord and passion for Jesus slowly over time through pain, and suffering, and hardship, get weakened.

Sometimes it’s as if we have the corrosion of doubt gnawing through what used to be solidly-steeled faith; a spirit filled with strength.

But what the devil means for evil, God means for good! There is nothing that comes to us in this life that does not first pass through our most gracious and benevolent Heavenly Father’s hand of mercy.

In other words, if we are experiencing challenging things in life, it is because God has allowed them or brought them into our experience. Whereas the devil might be trying to destroy us by eating away at our confidence, God is allowing our confidence to be shattered and our strength to be diminished for one purpose. That purpose is so that we will come to the end of all of our human resolve, and all of our committed will, and all of our self-assured strength and simply glorify Him by relying only on the resources He provides.

I think I’m beginning to learn this. For when I am weak he is strong! Praise the Lord for rust!

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Cor. 12:10).