Can, Through Christ
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Recently a good friend and I visited her son at college. The first day there, we biked twenty miles through a state
preserve. We saw some large alligators, petted wild horses, and saw a beautiful deer, which was standing just a few feet off the bike trail! It was exhilarating, a God-blessed day!
The second day we went with my friend's son, and one of his friends, to climb a manmade rock-climbing wall. My friend’s son climbed first. He scurried up the wall without a care. The son’s friend, who was terribly afraid of heights, went next. She climbed slowly and methodically, wanting to stop and turn back several times. But we called out from below, “You can do it. Just one more step, you’re almost there!” Shaking and trembling, she made it to the top; and then carefully repelled down the wall. We were so proud of her. Even though she was weak-kneed, she was proud of herself! Then it was my turn. I said, “I’ll give it a try, but don’t expect me to go more than about eight feet!” I started up. “Hey this is easy.” I thought to myself. But about twelve feet up I froze. I couldn’t go further! Even though I was safely harnessed in, with my friends holding the rope and cheering me on, I couldn’t budge another step up. Protesting my pleas to stop, they allowed me to come down. I was proud of myself for having gone as far as I had, but I wished I had overcome my fear. Then it was my friend’s turn to climb. She too was fearful, but made it to the top, and repelled down like a pro!
Later that day, as we drove home, we talked about
our climb. I told her that I wasn’t as afraid as I thought I would be, but
that I felt out of control, so that’s why I stopped. Then she said, “It
was preordained that you wouldn’t go all the way up.”
“What do you mean?” I said.
“You pre-ordained the outcome. You determined before you started, that you
wouldn’t go to the top. In fact, you even pre-determined where you would
(I had made it a bit further than eight feet, but I
had to admit that she was right, which made me think, how might I do this in
other areas of my life?)
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, told them how much he appreciated their support, because when he went out from Macedonia, the Philippian church was the only church that supported him. He said, “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. . . . I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians
Contentment is to be at ease, peaceful, or happy. And when we’re content, we can’t be...
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