A few years ago, I was cruising the Caribbean with my friends, Paula and Joan. We were on the cruise as part of a women’s ministry event being led by Kathy Troccoli.
We stopped at several ports, including St. Martin. When we docked there, we put on our Gutsy Girl t-shirts, grabbed our water bottles, and headed off the ship. The three of us were looking so … well, middle-aged.
I had prearranged for us to hike through a rainforest on St. Martin. As we made our way to the tour company van, Paula noticed some ladies from our group—who were all at least 10 years older than us. (I only mention this because of what happened next. This might also be a good time to mention that I’m blind.)
We approached the tour guide and gave her our names. We expected her to check us off the list and put us in the van. But … that’s not what she did.
Instead, she looked up from her clipboard and asked, “Which one are you?” I realized she meant me, so I told her my name.
Rather than checking my name off the list, she replied, “You can’t come.”
“No, I paid,” I said, as Paula and Joan added their uh huh’s.
“I know you paid, but you can’t do this.”
I realized she thought I wasn’t capable. Did she think I was too old? Surely, I couldn’t be since the cast of The Golden Girls was already on the van.
So, I told her, “Yes, I can. No problem.” I informed her that I had climbed the Great Wall of China and bungie jumped. I doubted all the grannies on the van had done those things!
We went back and forth. I kept saying, “Yes, I can,” and she kept replying, “No, you can’t.”
Now, sisters, there comes a time when every woman should know it is time to walk away in order to protect her testimony. That time had come for me and my friends. So, we demanded a refund and stomped away.
We were all mad inside, and I was embarrassed, angry, and fighting feeling totally deflated. So, we did what any wise Christian woman does in times like this … we shopped.
Retail therapy didn’t work, though. I was stuck with that awful “I can’t” feeling. And, I don’t like it when someone tells me I can’t.
But the thing is, sometimes, I am that someone—and so are you. Sometimes we tell ourselves, “I can’t.” I can’t trust. I can’t forgive. I can’t try. I can’t move forward. Sometimes we say, “I can’t,” because we just don’t feel capable, like we have the ability.
We all have things in our lives that make us want to say, “I can’t.” Hard marriage. Constant illness. Financial strain. Rebellious kids. Mean bosses. Purposeless work. Being mistreated. All of these things make us feel we can’t.
But, sister, Scripture says we can. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things … through Christ who strengthens me.” I can is not based on your ability; in fact, it’s not your responsibility either.
Conquering every fear, fixing every problem, facing every challenge, overcoming every sin… you just aren’t fully capable. That’s why it’s not your responsibility. When you say, “I can,” it’s your response to His ability.
So, on this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, KC and I talk about how you can live out that verse in your daily life. You’ll learn two ways to access God’s power so that you can say, “I can!” to whatever you face, every day of the year.
2 Ways to Live the “I Can” Life
- Admit your powerlessness. Until you admit that your power isn’t enough, you will continue to depend on it. You’ve got grit and strength, of course. But you have that grit and strength because of God’s grace. In and of yourself, you don’t have the ability to do all things. You really only are able to access God’s power when you stop depending on your own. Maybe you need to misquote the verse, “I can’t do anything without Christ strengthening me.” Or, “I can’t do it well or for long.”
- Activate His power. God gave you two very distinct things to help you activate His power: the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). When Satan tries to hurl doubt, faith sees it for what it is … deception and accusation. You need the shield of faith up and ready, so the lies don’t get your heart. The sword is the way you stand your ground against all the attacks of the enemy. You attack the lies with the truth of God’s Word.
Sister, put on your armor this week. It always fits. You look good in it. Hold up your shield of faith. Grab your sword. Don’t depend on your own power, but instead admit that you need God’s power.
Remember no matter what you face, how you feel, or what your own ability is, you can live the “I Can Life” through Christ who strengthens you.
Ask Your 4:13 Question!
- Our 4:13 Podcast mug giveaway is now closed. We’ve sent an email to our ten winners. But we still want to hear your question! Each week we ask a different 4:13 question. For example, “Can I laugh when life doesn’t seem funny?” or “Can I overcome fear with faith?” Submit your 4:13 question to me at 413podcast.com/question.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Me, Myself, and Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, and Lies for Young Women: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover Bible Study
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What’s your 4:13 question? Send it to me at 413podcast.com/question, and you might win a 4:13 mug!