Have you ever said, “I could never…”? Or heard it from someone else? It’s a pretty safe bet that this is part of your vocabulary, or has been at some point in your life. I know that’s true for me.
I’ve said, “I could never give myself insulin shots.”
“I could never be a foster parent.”
“I could never go on a missions trip.”
“I could never home educate my children.”
“I could never speak in front of people.”
But God keeps proving me wrong. So, gradually, I’m letting go of this phrase, of this idea. I’m letting go of it so much that I get frustrated when I hear someone tell me, “I could never do that” as though the thing I’m doing is fueled by my super-human powers.
Each of the “I could never’s” I listed above, I have done and can now do without qualms. And, it’s not due to anything super-special about me. For some things, I’ve simply had no other choice, like giving myself insulin shots and practicing discipline with diet and exercise. These things are critical to my physical survival each day.
Other things, God has clearly called me to do, despite my fear or selfishness, like fostering and homeschooling. He’s spoken words to my heart that I cannot deny. Those words carry me through in the dark, scary, and overwhelming days.
It’s not true that I can just do anything – anything I want to do. And it’s not true that God won’t give me anything I can’t handle.
But, whatever He does give me, He will equip me to do with excellence. And, though I can’t do just anything I want to do, I can do anything He calls me to do when I hand myself over to Him willingly.
He will give me things that I can’t handle, not because He’s a horrible tyrant. He will do this because He doesn’t want me relying on myself, but, rather, to rely fully on Him. Whether He causes a hard circumstance or simply allows it, I have to remember that getting through it is not up to me. It is up to Him as I lean fully into His strength.
Some of these “I could never’s” we have stem from fear of inadequacy or fear of failure. Sometimes they stem from selfishness. Sometimes they come from thinking we just couldn’t stomach it – we don’t have the courage.
I certainly hope that you don’t have to face dealing with a chronic disease. But, even more than that, I do hope that you live a life of willingness rather than “I could never’s”, because that would be a life lived beyond yourself – a life that leans on God rather than your own abilities.
And, if you come up to me and say, “I could never…” there’s a good chance I’ll call you out on it. Because I’m tired of hearing people limit themselves. I’m tired of hearing how small God is in the hearts of His people.
What if, instead of remaining stuck in our “I could never’s”, we started asking, “What could I do through Your strength, God?” Perhaps our imaginary walls would come crashing down. Perhaps we would realize the immense proportions of His plans and purposes for each individual life. Perhaps we would trust more deeply, stand up more willingly, engage more intentionally, live more passionately.
Let’s dream together about the possibilities. Let’s spur each other on towards those things the enemy wants us to believe are impossible. Let’s get comfortable with being uncomfortable.