Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"I Can't!"



“ ‘Ah, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not now how to speak; I am only a child.’ ”

Jeremiah 1:6


From the moment we are born, life’s challenges begin.  As infants, our emotional and physical needs are lovingly tended to by our parents.  But there comes a time in our development when we are faced with certain demands that only we can overcome.  My youngest grandson, Isaac, is currently facing such a challenge in learning to walk.  He is able to lift his body from a squat into a standing position, but when encouraged to take a few steps, he adamantly and stubbornly refuses.  We all know he is able and no matter how many times we tell him, “ you can!”, he has not convinced himself.  He would prefer to keep his feet firmly planted, grinning from ear to ear, then quickly frown and sit back down when offered assistance.  He does not yet trust us to catch him if he falls.  

I would prefer to keep Isaac little because he is probably my last grandchild.  I know that one day he will be tearing around the house after his siblings and eventually he will be running out into the world to build his own life.  But for now, Isaac is saying, “I can’t!”, and I have recently found myself echoing his sentiment.

The appearance of standing alone can often cause us to want to sit back down and refuse to take another step.  We are able to fool ourselves into believing there will be others who will offer a hand to balance and assist us, when in reality, we must often brace ourselves and go it alone.  This past week I have been telling the Lord, “I can’t!”  And while I was telling Him, “I can’t!” I found myself stumbling around in the darkness of the past with “what if” and “if only”.  My prayers have been full of pleadings to drive these thoughts from me and to restore and renew my faltering faith and trust.  It has been a struggle wrestling with Him.  But with His help I am overcoming, and by His strength and helping hand, I will take another step, and another, until I am back in the race running for all I am worth.

This morning my “I can’t!” has become, “I can, with Your help, Lord.”  I realize that I am never alone in spite of what I perceive.  Others may fail me.  I may even fail myself and others from time to time.  But my God, Who understands my human frailty, will always be standing in front of me with outstretched arms urging me to take another vital step.  He will also catch me if I stumble and begin to fall.  After all, the finish line is not too far away and the prize that awaits me is beyond my comprehension and worth every obstacle that is thrown in my way.

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”  Thank you, Lord.  You just proved to me that “I can!”

Recommended reading:

1Kings 19:1-21
Esther 4:1-17
Isaiah 40:31; 41:10
Jeremiah 1:4-10
John 8:36
Hebrews 12:1-3; 12:12
Galatians 2:20
1Corinthians 9:24-27
Philippians 4:13
2Timothy 4:7-8; 16-18