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"You Can Do Hard Things"

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Philippians 4:13

Sometimes the simplest statements mean the most and stay with us the longest if not for a lifetime. That's how the one's above are for me from life and from the bible and they are what I want to remind you. Of all the things I could encourage you with today this quote I read some time ago now sums up my feelings pretty well. "If ever there is tomorrow when we are not together, promise me you will always remember, you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Some might remember that quote from Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh. Yes, that famous quote is from a children's book but then again God has called us to child like faith. I read the quote while doing some on line research on the topic of "courage," and in doing so I happened upon a website for cancer patients and the following few paragraphs were written by a mother with cancer on the eve of her daughters sixth birthday. She wrote,

"Today is my daughter's birthday party; tomorrow she will be six. She is my youngest so it's especially hard to believe that she is already six years old. I love the Pooh quote above, and I would guess that most parents do, too.

Having cancer means rethinking everything–everything you believe, everything you planned, every way you live your life every day. You question not only why you got this terrible disease, but how you are going to live whatever remains of the life you have. Whatever invincibility delusion you had remaining from your teen years is now gone–you know, for sure, that you are indeed mortal. Former nebulous future plans become urgent. The future itself matters less than the present moment, perhaps for the first time.

Perhaps the worst part of all of this has been the fears I have had about my children, and about leaving them before they are old enough to live without me. I'm more determined than ever not to do that (after enduring parenthood I consider it my inalienable right to enjoy grand parenthood!), but being sick forced me to recognize, for the first time, that it could happen.
But instead of dwelling on it, I'm just going to do everything I can each day to enjoy who they are and to help them on their path to becoming independent adults, and hope for the best. At the same time, I hate watching them grow up so fast!

Hopefully they will grow up knowing how deeply they are loved and how very proud I am of them and can carry that within them into life, no matter where they are and where I might be." (Story ends)

Oh how I wish I could sit with that mother and help her to see that our life's goal isn't about being independent but rather being dependent, dependent upon God knowing that with His love and grace we really can face anything that comes our way and even better than doing hard things, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! The truth is we can do nothing on our own that's good or lasting apart from Jesus Christ, but with Christ's help we really can do all things! How many things? All things, loved one, that's right, all things! In other words, with Christ's help nothing is impossible!

It's sad how we so easily sell ourselves short and say, "I can't do this or I can't do that" when it comes to THE hard things each of us must face in life. If only we knew that God is available to help us, to provide us the strength and the courage so that we can say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Those are powerful words, we need to hear like they were the last words someone whom we loved spoke them to us from their deathbed. You can imagine the scene. With eyes full of tears knowing these were their last words to you, they would loving say as they held your hand, "Don't ever forget, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you", as they slip away into eternity.

I have this tendency that maybe you can relate to when it comes to dealing with tough things. I tend to try to pick the "hard things" I can do and avoid the "hard things" I don't feel as if I can do. God always lovingly reminds me that in fact, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". The Lord has shown me again and again that if I want to do something I don't really look at it as being hard, even if in reality it is. And likewise, if I don't want to do something, I view it as next to impossible, even if it is relatively easy. Make sense? The truth is, we can say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" Today I want to encourage you my friends that no matter how you see your life, no matter how big or small the obstacles may appear to be, whatever you are facing, you can, you really really really can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! The key is look to Jesus, trust Him, love Him and obey Him!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"

Ephesians 3:20


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