“I could never _____.” Can you fill in that blank? You know we all probably have that one thing.. or maybe many things that we could write down if we thought about it for more than a few seconds. Maybe it would only take a minute and you would have a full-on list formed with bullet points. Perhaps you feel you could never forgive ___, or love ___, or work through __, or take on that kind of challenge, or go ___, or give up __… You fill it in. What is it that you could never do?
I’ve come to hate that line “I could never _____.” Because you see, I’m learning that in my weakness God is made strong and I long to see Him show His strength to me. I’ve found that when I cast my cares upon Him, He cares for me. Ephesians 2:10 tells me that I was created for good works in Jesus Christ, which He planned for me long ago and I’m to walk in them. In other words, if God calls, then He enables.
If you know my husband and I and you’ve heard some of our story, then you know that our life verses are Ephesians 3:20-21. God has moved amazingly in our lives to show his strength, his power, his grace, his love, his goodness, and his healing very personally in our lives. Through this journey we’ve been on, there’s one thing I have certainly learned. It’s that I may not be able to, but God certainly can. And when he does, all glory goes to Him. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen??
One of the huge disservices that we cause ourselves in this life is that we rarely step out of our “normal” to do anything big for God. We don’t ask Him to move mountains (those things that are so huge they make us feel small), we don’t ask Him to stretch us, we don’t ask Him to do what only He can do. And because of it, we miss out on God’s glory. So we live lackadaisical Christian lives that are otherwise boring and inspire no one, including ourselves to do anything for God. Truthfully, why would I want to follow someone like that? So, I don’t. Instead, I follow Jesus. He wasn’t boring. He asks for much and requires all kinds of sacrifice. And it’s totally worth it.
Some years ago, we began asking God to “put big things in front of us that we would otherwise not choose.” Sounds weird, right? Well, it’s what we prayed. And, wow! Did He ever answer. We’ve since seen His healing hand, experienced His grace, started a church, had lots of children, watched Him provide, and on a weekly basis we get to experience the blessing of seeing God do what only He can do and that is: to change lives at the core level-starting with my own. Oh, if we hadn’t asked! What would I be doing right now?
See, when I want to fill in that blank with some thing that I know I just can’t do, I instead choose to pray, “God, I don’t want to miss out on anything you have for me, so will you increase my capacity?” For me, as a young Mother, it has looked like this…
“How can I care for so many little people? How do I discipline in love? Can you help me to be able to do all the responsibilities you’ve given me? Help me to love her enough to tell her the truth. Help me to care enough to dig in when I really just want to relax. Will you give me strength to start the days early? Will you grow in me a deeper love for my husband than I’ve ever had? Help me to focus on you Lord, even when I’m tired. Increase my capacity, please.”
So go ahead. Fill in the blank. “I could never ____.” But, then cross it out and ask God if He can.