Recently my daughter and I had a wonderful conversation. She was telling me about all the things she wished she could do, but couldn't for some reason or another. This was hard for me to hear. As a father I wanted to tell her that she could be anything she wanted to be. As a minister, I wanted her to know that there is always hope. While I whole-heartily believe these statements, there is also a side of me that doesn't want to fill her head with wishful thinking. Instead I want her to figure it out on her own.
I thought about Philippians 4:13 which states, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Soon our conversation shifted from making a negative statement "I can't do it" to making a positive questions "How can I do it?" Instead of thinking about the things that scare us or require more strength, intelligence, or faith than we have to give at that moment, we are to look at what we can do. If we look inside ourselves then we will find the answers and clues to working with our limitations.
Too often we retreat to the safe places in our lives, and too often it is in these places we store stuff we don't need. Stuff that limit our faith, strength, and know how. This useless clutter stored within us keeps us from seeing the bits and pieces that help us do the things we are good at. The longer we keep the negative stuff stored away within us, the easier it is to see only the negative (I can't do that) instead of seeing and thinking more positively (How can I get this done?). Imagine how you would feel if a plumber or an auto mechanic told you "I can't fix it" and then walked away from the job. I know I would scream, "Don't tell me what you can't do, tell me what you can do."
Christ has called us to give up those things in life that keep us from bearing good fruit (John 15:1-11). These things include thinking negative thoughts. If we abide in him, and he abides in us, then God will begin to prune those area's in our lives that bear no fruit. And it is in this process of abiding and pruning our joy will be complete. Therefore let God come in and clean house, trim back the branches, sweep out the dirt, and throw away all the useless junk. With all of that stuff gone, we can begin to see the joy, the love, the inspiration, the safety and confidence we need to do all things.
God cleanse me and free me to rely on your strength. Through you, in the name of Jesus Christ, all things are possible. Amen.
"If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Col. 3:17).
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An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”