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The Good Things That Happen When You Say, “I Can’t”

black and white girl looking down

“I can’t.”

It was true.

I couldn’t.

I didn’t have the strength, the resources, the wisdom to do what God was asking of me this past weekend.

“I can’t.”

The words showed up in my tears, in the discouragement of my own lacking.

Even my body screamed the phrase through the pit in my belly, the pounding in my head.

“I just can’t.”

It didn’t feel fair for God to ask this of me.  He knew my weakness.  My triggers for fear.

He said He loved me.  Then why, Jesus?  Why?

And then He told me.

“Because I CAN.”

None of this circumstance had anything to do with what I could do.  I was missing the point completely.

It was about what HE could do.

As that idea began to make its way into my heart and mind, He kept speaking in words I COULD understand.  He spoke tenderly, but with the most sincere conviction.

“I have chosen you for this moment.  This circumstance.  This is part of the big plan, the whole story.  This is a chapter that needs to be fully written.  Every word of its script has purpose and meaning and is essential for the next chapter.  

You’re right when you say you can’t.  But I can.  And I have every intention of doing so.  You see now, but I see eternity.  Eternal value is being weaved into what is happening right now.  Trust that.  Trust ME.

I know that your hands feel weak, that your mind feels muddled with why’s and how’s.  So give them to me.  Let me pour My strength through your hands, My thoughts and promises through your mind.

All that I have taken you through, all that I have done for you, has prepared you for this moment in time.  This next step in the journey.  Every moment that you trust Me in it will bind your heart closer to Mine.

This story will not ultimately be about you and your weakness.  It will be about Me and My strength.  And you will tell the story again and again to people who need to hear it.” 

“You can’t.  But I can.  WE can.”

It’s strange how a conversation like that, being reminded of the truth, can completely change your perspective.

Suddenly, there was energy in my dead arms, inspiration in my spent mind.

Discouragement melted as the purpose was exposed.

This temporary situation faded in the face of its eternal significance.

The sun rose today with a beauty that was nearly tangible from this new vantage point.   It brought a fresh new day with clearer vision and renewed hope.

Today I will shift my focus once again from my own pitiful resources to the endless bounty of my God and the wonder of watching His story unfold.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18  “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Psalm 27:1 – 3  “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

Romans 8:18  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Romans 5:3-5  “ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


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