I read an article recently written by a Black woman, and her subject was why she no longer wanted to be identified as a “Strong Black Woman”. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with sister love, which compelled to read it. To summarize, she stated that the pressure to always be strong, as in never showing weakness, was too much of a burden to bear. So to be free of such unrealistic expectations, she has renounced the association. I totally understand why she would feel that way based on her understanding of what it means to be strong and the self-reliance from which she was drawing her strength. I would like to offer an alternative solution to the burden she felt while identifying as a “Strong Black Woman.”
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. [Matthew 11:28-29 Amplified Classic]
In our weakness, the strength of GOD is perfected. The thing we have to practice is taking our burdens to GOD and laying them at His feet, and then leaving them their in the hope and assurance of faith. There was no mention of GOD or seeking strength from GOD in the experience that led the sister to resign from the title of “Strong Black Woman.” All the examples of strong women I have known have been women of faith. Likewise, all the examples of strong men that I have known have been men of faith. Why is that? Here is the testimony of one of history’s greatest warriors.
5 My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
7 In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:5-8)
Those are the words of King David whose victories made the nation of Israel a world power in his day to the glory of GOD. The last verse says, “Pour out your heart before Him.” Sometimes that will take the form of buckets of tears, even as King David has shared before in other songs he wrote. Crying is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign that your heart is alive. Here is what Psalm 126 says about tears:
5 Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:5-6)
This is beautiful to me because it is the definition of strength which hope in YAHWEH gives. Verse six speaks to continually going forth and not fainting and not becoming cold and hard but keeping your heart engaged, persevering in the faith that you will eventually reap a harvest of victory. This is the strength YAHWEH has given us through the assurances of His word in that He cannot lie. They that trust in the Lord and call upon Him, will be delivered. We are strong as we stand on a foundation that cannot be shaken, as we rest in a stronghold that cannot be overthrown, as we keep our faith in GOD through Christ understanding that what we see is temporary but what He has said is eternal. Our brother Paul shared with the Corinthians how to maintain strength, and it also applies to us today, in whatever place we currently live and for ALL people.
3 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)… (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Amplified Classic)
The illustration is from the artist Martin Malchev.