Jan 19 2010
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The other night we were going to play Go Fish with our 2 ½ year old granddaughter, Ashlyn. Unfortunately, she just wanted to play with the cards! So after a couple of attempts to teach her the game, I gathered all the cards and gave them to her. The cards were oversized and her small hands had a difficult time holding onto them, so she kept dropping them. Each time she dropped them she would start crying for me to pick them up for her.
The first couple of times I harkened to her cry and “helped” her pick them up. As I picked them up I would encourage her to help me but she insisted that she couldn’t do it, crying “I can’t, I can’t pick them up.” By the third time I realized that this was going to continue all night if I didn’t change my instructions. So this time I sat down right in front of her and looked her in the eye and said, “Ashlyn, you CAN do everything you need to do because Jesus helps you.” Together we picked up the cards saying, “I can do this, I can do this.” After picking up the cards, Ashlyn went on playing. After a few minutes, she dropped the cards again. But this time instead of crying out for Granna to come and help her, she sat down beside the pile of cards and began saying, “I can pick them up, I can.” In a short time, Ashlyn had gathered all of her cards and was off to play again.
As simple as this story is, it speaks volumes to how our heavenly Father interacts with us. In the beginning of our walk with God, His grace and His mercy cover us and He does all of the “work” for us. As time goes on we grow in our understanding of God and learn that God has given us mighty weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5)to counter the attacks of the enemy. As we mature, God allows us to put to use what we’ve learned and rather than Him doing everything, we are expected to take up the armor of God and put it to use (Ephesians 6:11-18)!
God is a good Father who allows us to grow in faith through participating in His work. When He sent the disciples out in pairs, He didn’t send them alone. The power of God went with them to do the work through them, but their participation was necessary. When the 5000 needed to be fed, the disciples participated in distributing the food. Throughout the Bible, God invites people to partner with Him in ministry. Jesus even said that those who believed in Him would do greater works than He had done (John 14:12). Our part is to believe that we can do the things that God requires us to do.
Part of learning to walk with God is discerning when it’s your responsibility to use your weapons and when to rely on God’s strength. But we should never ever throw our hands up and give up. We should pray and seek God to know what to do and then be willing to be a doer of His Word to us. We must know that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we really can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Sometimes the doing is speaking against the enemy and resisting his attacks. And sometimes the doing is standing still and resting in the arms of our Savior.
So the next time you “drop your cards” and you’d rather just let someone else pick them up for you or cry over the mess, stop and ask the Lord how you should proceed. Remind yourself that you CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you. He will give you knowledge to know what to do and wisdom to know how to proceed. Listen to His voice, follow His commands, and walk in the fullness of His love for you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for allowing the state of my circumstances to rule in my life. Holy Spirit, strengthen me in my inner man so that I can rise above the dropped cards in my life. As you peace settles over me, speak to me what You would have me do. I choose to follow You and to obey your instructions because I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank You Lord! Amen!