I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
My grandson took this verse as his own at a very young age. I think he chose it because it was short, but thank goodness it was more than short. It was a challenge for every day of his life. It was a verse that provided hope for doing those things we look at and think are not possible. Today, this grandson is pole vaulting 15 feet plus, and every time I watch him do that I think about his verse he chose at such a young age.
I once could psyche myself up in some areas of life, especially physical activity. I used to go to a fitness class twice a week taught by an excellent instructor. She was both fit and motivating. She was very pleasant so that we didn’t think bad thoughts about her when she made us do a ten rounds of squats, which are the reason getting up and down from my writing chair now is so painful.
When we were flagging in energy in the middle of a round of push-ups, she would call out “C’mon, people! You’ve got this!” And I can’t deny that it had an energizing effect. Some class members would call out things like “Yeah!” and “Woo-hoo!” I didn’t call out anything. I just tried to keep breathing, but I did get a surge of confidence. “I’ve got this! I can do this!”
I think Paul wanted to give the Philippians a surge of confidence when he wrote that line to them. He wanted them to know that Christ strengthened him daily and would do that for them as well. Christ will do that for us too. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, last week, I had some of the symptoms of coronavirus, so Saturday, I went through a drive through testing station. The first part of the test was Saturday morning, and it was negative, but I had to wait until Tuesday for the remainder of the results, so I was once again home alone, not in church and not with family. So I kept repeating with every attack of chills and fever “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Tuesday they called to let me know I am NEGATVE. So now I will need to go see my family doctor to find would why I m experiencing some of these symptoms. Yet I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- What have you been challenged with in your faith in God these last few weeks?
- What are those things that seem greater than you can accomplish for Christ? And why can’t you let this verse encourage you to try and keep on trying?
- How has Christ strengthened you for a task you felt you could not do, but you were able to accomplish with Christ’s help?
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.