My super-woman sister reminded me this weekend about how our father taught us NEVER to use the word, “can’t.” It’s not a word he would say. We don’t use that word in this house. You CAN.
This is the kind of determination I learned growing up. To jut out my chin and put up my fist and say “Yes I can!”
The trouble was my father would use plenty of other words (other than can’t) in our house that seemed just fine. The four-letter kind I learned to utter in my own frustration. This and other crazy things that happened in my house growing up led me to constantly question, “Does my father really love me?” .. because the words and the actions didn’t always match up.
Of course I knew my earthly father loved me, the best way he knew how. I’m so grateful for how he gave me so much. But I’m learning now that his imperfect love led to a lot of confusion in my little girl heart.
My dad was bullied and beat up as a young boy. So he learned to raise his fist at the world and with a long list of curse words say, “YES – I – CAN!” He was determined to live. To survive. To prove those guys wrong.
No matter how imperfect my dad was, I always admired his determination. But like any good human quality like passion, intelligence, confidence, and even courage – if we’re not rooted in the right place we will find these qualities can only get us so far. And I’m finding, they can actually keep us from the life God wants for us.
Philippians 4:23 says “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me.”
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be under the teaching of the best of the best. Pastor Steven Furtick’s book Crash the Chatterbox is a must-have for anyone who’s ever struggled with the lies of insecurity, fear, condemnation, or discouragement. This past weekend at Elevation, his wife and my friend Holly Furtick preached an incredibly practical message on discouragement I know I’ll go back to again and again.
Through this consistent teaching, and studying God’s word on my own, I’m learning how instead of overcoming my fears through Christ’s power IN me, I’ve been consistently denying my fears and pushing past them in my own strength. And with two little boys and a husband and a rewarding ministry and demanding schedule – my strength is a limited resource.
Today, I’m learning how to move from being determined (in my own strength) to being devoted to the one whose resources are unlimited.
Thank you, Jesus for this day. I am a limited being. I can’t do everything in front of me today on my own. But your word says that IN YOU I can. I have to be smart, Jesus – I can’t say YES today to everything that’s placed in front of me, so I ask that you’d sift the work of my hands. Help me to discern what tasks are mine alone God – which ones I can delegate to others on this journey with me – and which ones I should push aside for another day. More than anything God today I want to know you better, and be devoted to you. I trust that as I devote my life to you, your love will overflow through me so I can bring YOUR peace, YOUR joy, and YOUR love to those around me. Thank you for first loving me. Amen.