‘Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you‘. (Isaiah 41:8-10 MSG)
When Ethan was younger he used to go up to people and ask them ‘Have you got tickets?’ You would then have to ask ‘tickets for what?’. His response would be: ‘to the gun show’ while holding up his little arms and showing his little bicep muscles. Despite his size, those little muscles have served him well. Those little muscles in his tiny body have helped him crawl before he could walk, catch and throw a ball, hold up his scooter and bike, propel him through water, carry his body over the monkey bars in 5 seconds, balance his body to do hand stands, bounce his basketball, carry a school bag, put a t shirt on, and even carry his plate to the bench after a meal and put dishes up high in a cabinet. Ethan finds great delight in teasing his mum about the muscles in her arms that he figures are non existent because they can not be seen. But just because he can’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there.
Ethan was not always able to do the things he is able to do today because he was not strong enough. There are things he can’t do yet because he needs to grow stronger. For example because of the angle of our driveway, taking out the big bin to the road side when it is full is virtually impossible as the weight of the bin would propel him across the road because of it’s weight and speed. But when the bin has been emptied he can easily carry the bin up the driveway empty. As a caring father, Steve has always had Ethan help him with the bins. When he was little it was small box to put in the recycling bin and Steve would have to lift him up to place the box in the bin. It then became the whole box of recycling and Steve would help him by opening the door and lift the lid.Steve as a loving Dad, would let him be responsible according to how strong and capable he was and if he needed more strength, Steve would lend him some of his. Could Steve do all this himself …of course. He is aware that Ethan will need his strength to carry responsibility of his own one day.
Do you know that God will not ask you to carry a weight that will propel you into danger ( not in a ‘I think this would be funny’ way at least). There have been times in my life however that I felt like I was steering an entire rubbish skip down a mountain side without his help. He is aware of your capacity, your ‘size’, and your potential, and the even how much strength he needs to lend you in the season you are in. He could easily do things for you but he wants you to grow in your strength. We have each been given a measure of strength but it is through use that your measure of strength is measured, tested and increased. Christine Caine made this simple quote about our ability which I love: ‘If it is possible you can do it and if it is impossible God can do it. Simple Really!!!
God made you with the potential to do but something it is not so much whether we can or not but if we WILL. My heavenly Father loves me to use my strength and gets great delight in watching me grow in my strength but takes great delight in lending me his strength. When. We recognise the things we can not do or find really hard and turn to him…he delights in that dependance. His goal is not that you will one day be strong enough that you don’t need him but that you will continue to grow and step out in faith requiring more of him as you do. Unlike our earthly Father, we need him and are dependant him forever. There is never a time when what he asks of us to endure and carry is possible without him. His goal is not like Steve’s with Ethan. His intentions are never that we will one day be strong enough not to need him but that we will always be in a position where our measure of strength is increasing and growing his strength is available. he will,always give me the impossible and expect me to step out and do. God takes delight in watching us step out into impossible situations and experiencing his empowering and enabling to do what we could not possibly do on our own. Unlike Ethan’s guns at 3, our spiritual, emotional and physical muscles are not meant for showing off but to be used to carry out our purpose and destiny. My prayer is that you will choose to carry the responsibility today that your heavenly Father gives you with a sense of delight, because you believe HE is strong, HE is able and He and will empower you to do what today demands of you. So today…what is he asking you carry, to do, to push through, to resist, to stand for, to lead, to love, to forgive, to step into…??? You can choose to not do it, do it moaning or do it with delight and expectation because you have God giving you strength, holding you steady, helping you and holding on to you.