“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“All things” is a bit much, don’t you think? It’s like when we tell kids they can do or be anything when they grow up. Dream ig! Shoot for the stars! Nothing is impossible! This sounds inspiring-and sometimes we need an encouraging pep talk-but it’s not realistic, or honest. Some things are not right for us. Some things are beyond our limits or out of our control.
Earlier in Philippians, Paul says the strength God provides him is the ability to be content no matter the situation. Whether Paul finds himself having plenty or being in need, he’ll be okay because God gives him strength.
Some times we are stronger and more resilient than we think. We might avoid situations that provoke fear or discomfort. We might be quick to say, “I”m not strong enough,” when a more honest response might be, “That looks painful, scary or difficult.” But we grow in strength when we take on new challenges or push ourselves to achieve something we doubted was possible. We don’t know what strength God has given us until we honestly try.
Examine: What have you not tried or faced because you felt you weren’t strong enough? Sit with this dishonesty. Breathe. Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.
Imagine: Imagine yourself climbing a mountain with a heavy backpack loaded with burdens. Every step requires effort and energy. Every footfall feels heavier than the last. What strength do you possess to keep moving forward? What is up ahead that motivates you to keep going? Be honest with God and yourself.
Pray: Free me from dishonesty, O God, so I can live with truth.