One of my favorite Jesus girls, Lisa Whittle posted something today that had me smacking my desk at work and nodding a big “uhh huh… yes ma’am” out loud. (I was on a distracted Instagram break… I know nobody ever does that.)
“Here’s what I’ve realized. People can do hard things without God. But we can’t do hard things without God and be truly ok. Eventually everything will crack and crumble.”
Isn’t that the truth. I’ve seen this little saying all over the place, maybe you have too:
“We can do hard things.”
True? Sometimes. I imagine this to be some kind of rally cry response to that other popular t-shirt catch phrase “Adulting is hard”.
Being a grown up is hard. It requires us to do crappy, difficult things at times. We can do it alone or with Jesus, it’s our choice.
That’s the beauty and hardship of it all I suppose, we get to choose to walk it alone or with His help. Whittle addresses this in her book, Put Your Warrior Boots On:
“Self-help talk that sounds good but isn’t exactly true is becoming more and more the encouragement of choice in this society. How we are enough, in and of ourselves… and I just want to weep because I know these things that are close are moving us farther from Jesus. The answer to all of this is not offering more creative ways to help people in this world feel good and strong; it is to effectively persuade them to follow God. People will never come to God if we keep telling them they can do it all themselves.”
We can be so close… yet so far off the mark. Maybe I’m just old now or too traditional, but I’ve never been drawn this raging individualism, I’m actually repelled by it. We just don’t want to rely on anyone or anything but ourselves, and the world sees that as a great thing. The new wave feminists have this down pat, girls must be brave and self-reliant. All the while, we are slaves to slaves to an image, money, approval, and worse.
For the believer, dependence isn’t weak, it’s necessary. His strength, working through us. The beauty of living in the power of the resurrection is that we’ve been given the freedom to not go it alone.
The teeny tiny Bible verse printed on that picture up top… “with God, all things are possible…” should be the first thing you see, not the afterthought. Things are possible, even the hard and difficult ones, but not because we make it so – because HE makes it so.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Sometimes the greatest thing I know to do for a friend who is hurting is not to hash out a solution to the problem, but point them to the One who I know has the solution. No need for fancy sayings or worrying about the pros and cons, just His strength working it all out through our weakness.
…that your faith should not be in the wisdom of me but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:5