Abilities - inabilities
For my husband’s sake, I once took a class in learning how to read and speak Swedish. I struggled to the finish, but learned little and never used the little I learned. In order to graduate college, I had to take a foreign language course. Told that Spanish was the easiest to learn, I opted for that. I nearly flunked, but stuck it out. The Spanish I managed to learn came in handy, however, during my two mission trips to Mexico. If I hadn’t finished the college course, my time there would have been less interesting and certainly less productive, although my feeble attempts at speaking brought a few laughs.
In high school I did poorly in math. Even today I try to avoid anything to do with numbers, other than the simplest personal bookkeeping required to maintain my finances. My twin sister took a college course in algebra and flunked the first time. Determined to learn, she took it again, and succeeded in passing. She was always more determined than I.
Anything worthwhile is worth the effort. But some lack the gift to learn certain things.
With God’s help, however, we can do most anything. He can take our inabilities and turn them into possibilities. In fact, one of my favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The Message version says: “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the one who makes me who I am.”
The Apostle Paul had a reason for writing as he did. However, I like to switch the phrases when I repeat this verse: “Through Christ who strengthens me, I can do all things.” The emphasis should be on Christ, in my opinion. After all, he is the empowering enabler. Where my abilities are weak or nonexistent, he makes anything possible. And that includes all things. Strength for body, soul and spirit. Wisdom for making the right decisions. Love and forgiveness for the most unloving and undeserving.
When we face our inabilities, perhaps the first step is to admit them, then ask God to turn them into possibilities, and last but not least, obey his will. When we relinquish our natural desire to do things in our own strength and for ourselves, he will honor our humility. When we concede our weakness to him, watch out! Anything can happen. Such miracles have been proven countless times.
Lord, thank you for strengthening us when we are unable to do something on our own. We embrace your power and wisdom and love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mrs. Bair may be reached at email@example.com.