I can’t do this…

An excerpt from my journal…recording the “conversation” God and I had this morning…

Lord, I can’t do this.
I can’t do this day.
I can’t do any day.
I can’t make a struggling friend feel better.
I can’t successfully battle temptation.
I can’t guard my tongue.
I can’t solve a single problem.
I cannot love as You love.
I cannot be effective.
I cannot communicate well.
I cannot.

So I have two choices.
Choice 1:
I can crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head – literally or metaphorically.
Literally sounds great but is not an option.
But metaphorically, I can.
I can “pull up the blankets” and act like everything is fine, that I DO have it in me.
I can say encouraging things to myself, give myself pep talks, envision myself doing the things that need to be done.
And I can choose to avoid the painful things, pretending I do not see them, do not hear them, do not know they exist.
Or, worse yet, acknowledge them, but then shut down with a selfish, “Not my problem.”
Blankets firmly over my head.
Snuggled down.

Choice 2:
I can believe You.
I can believe what You say in Your Word.
That I can do all things through You.
That I can live and move and have my being in You.
That You have a plan and purpose for me and will direct my steps as I trust You.
That You have already given me everything I need for life and godliness.
That the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me.
That my days were numbered before one of them came to be and that in You I need to make the most of every moment because the days are evil.
That You have armed me for battle, giving me the armor and the weapons that I need to be an effective soldier.
That You are still the God of miracles, still the God who multiplies small things into big ones, still the God who breathes life into dead things.

And, best of all, I can believe this: that all I have to do is stay close to You – keep short accounts, keep my eyes fixed on You, keep Your Word in front of me, keep talking to You throughout my day – and YOU will do the work that needs to be done.

Because the Truth is that I cannot do this.
I am weak.
Flawed.
A sinner.
And I do not see the whole picture.
I don’t have all the information.
Or the resources in myself to do life well.

But since when do people expect the pot to cook for them?
Where does it make sense that the pipe creates the water that flows through it?
Who in their right mind is more excited about the container holding the treasure than the treasure in it?

Because You are the Master Chef, creating the gourmet meal.
I am the pot You use to make the masterpiece.

You are the Living Water that chases away drought, washes away dirt, quenches thirst.
I am the pipe that the Water flows through.

You are the Infinite Treasure, the Invaluable Gift.
I am the box that simply holds the gift open for others to see.

The pressure is off.

I don’t have to fix it.
I don’t have to have all the answers.
I don’t have to be the glue.
I don’t have to be strong.

I do have to be willing.
I do have to choose to obey.
But that is all that falls on me.

Because You will give me the words to say when I need to say them.
You will direct my paths so that I am in the right place at the right time.
You will give me the strength to conquer today’s to-do list — You will even remind me of what needs to be on it!
You will bring to mind who I need to pray for – and then You will fill in the blanks as I pray.
You will supply all I need today – financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. In every way, You will be my Source.
And because it is You and not me that gets it done, You will get the glory You deserve – and You will accomplish incredible things because of me in spite of me.

Peter put it this way:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” (I Peter 5:6-7, AMP)

Whew! That’s a relief.
I can’t do this.
But You can.
So let’s roll!

 

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