I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister, teacher, mentor teacher, colleague, employee, friend, church member, worship team member, aunt, sister-in-law, neighbor. These are some of the roles I play. In the course of a typical week, I take on at least 12 of these roles, most of them daily. There are other roles, not listed, that I play occasionally—hostess, confidant, advisor, customer, patient, guest—you get the picture. You live life; you probably have similar roles.
If I were to list each of the responsibilities and tasks that come with each of these roles, I am sure my reaction would be, “What! I can’t do all those things, not by myself.” And yet, we all do. Daily. Weekly. Yearly. Oh, we juggle things. We drop balls occasionally, especially when one of those roles suddenly demands more of us—an illness, a crisis, an annual peak in our job workload. And then we might, in panic, grab onto that verse, “I can do all things through Christ.”
What I am coming to realize more and more as I age is that God isn’t just there to help in the crisis times. He is helping us all the time—even when we are blithely unaware. If He wasn’t, we would really be in crisis. The fact is, we can’t do anything, let alone all those things our daily lives demand, on our own. Even though we might tend to apply this verse to our lives when we are facing something hard, sometimes the hardest thing we face is the schedule of our daily lives.
There are only 24 hours in a day, and when we try to manage on our own, we can make matters worse. For example, skimping on sleep to “catch up” does not typically produce the desired result. If it does, we pay later through the fatigue we suffer in having skipped our sleep. So, how does God help us?
Has a co-worker come to assist you? Has a child completed an extra chore without being asked? Did a meeting get cancelled, freeing your evening? Did your husband stop for milk and bread on his way home from work so you wouldn’t have to? Did your neighbor drop by with a plate of cookies, providing snacks for your kids’ lunches? Did these things help you? Did you plan them? Can you make them happen again next week? Probably not.
We need to take inventory. We need to develop an awareness of God’s moment by moment presence. God is helping us so we can do all things. It may not always be obvious to us, but when we are able to accomplish things, or even let go of things, God is assisting and providing.
God’s gift of strength through Christ isn’t of the superhero variety. It doesn’t necessarily come in large recognizable bursts of energy. It may show up that way during an emergency, but the in daily flow of our lives, I’d say it is more like taking daily vitamins and less like becoming the Incredible Hulk. And when we apply this verse to our lives, God shows up. When we add it to the verse about God ordering our steps (Psalm 37:23), then God helps us do “all things” by making sure we are doing the right things—the things He deems important.
So take a breath and say a prayer before facing your day. Access the strength you have in Christ and let the Spirit guide your steps.
Until next time,