I have been spending some time recently looking after my father. One of the books on his shelf caught my eye. It was about how to draw cartoons and out of curiosity I glanced through it. Suddenly one line really caught my attention. It said `You should never say "I can`t." Instead, you should say "I don`t know how"`.
The author was making the point that we limit ourselves too easily, when there are plenty of things (such as drawing cartoons) that we could learn if we believed we could do it, and were willing to put in the time to practise.
However, I felt the Lord was speaking to me as well. I realised that over the years, there have been many things God has asked me to do (or to stop doing) which I felt were too difficult. Situations where I felt it was too difficult for me to obey the Lord. In my heart I was saying “I can’t”.
I might not say “I can’t” in so many words. It’s more likely that I will just try to ignore God! Maybe do something else as a distraction. Probably escapism of one sort or another. We all have our favourite ways of ignoring God, don’t we? What is yours?
But whatever your favourite way of avoiding God is, have you ever wondered why you are doing it? Is it because you feel that what He is asking of you is too hard?
Perhaps it is an addictive behaviour you have tried to stop, but you find it too difficult and tell yourself "I can`t stop this".
Perhaps He has asked you to stop something you enjoy or `need`.
Or perhaps He prompts you do something like share the gospel with someone but you chicken out because `you can’t do it`. There are many such examples, and usually we would prefer not to think about them, so we avoid them and probably end up feeling mildly guilty. Of course, we may immediately try to suppress that too, because guilt isn`t a good feeling.
How about you? Has your conscience felt bad about anything lately? Did you ignore it? Why?
The good news I have for us today is that God knows! He knows we are finding these things too difficult. But nothing is too difficult for Him, and He would be only too delighted to show us how. We only have to ask Him.
So I have a suggestion. Let’s resolve never to say, “I can’t” but to try and replace that with, “I don’t know how.” And then let’s ask God to show us how.
I wonder what would happen if we did!
Prayer: Lord, I’m sorry for ignoring You about ... I would like to obey You, but at the moment I honestly don’t know how to. Please would You show me HOW to do this thing. Show me how to break the power of this fear, this addiction, this issue in my life. Thank You that it will be done through Your power and not mine. Please show me whenever I am saying, “I can’t”, and please remind me to say, “I don’t know how” instead. Thank You, Amen.
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