One of my favourite verses is Philippians 4:13 “I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength.”
When I first read the verse, I thought it meant I could do EVERYTHING as long as I believed in Christ. This is very far from the truth. It means I can handle anything that comes at me in my life. God will give me the amount of strength I need to get through each situation.
This fact has been most evident throughout my life. I can look at my past two ways:
- “Why do all these bad things keep happening to me? I must be a horrible person that even God has given up on me.”
- “I must be loved by my Father in Heaven because He is always there for me when tough times hit, and He gives me the strength to get through them.”
I choose the second one; however, growing up I had such horrible self-esteem that number one was my way of life.
What changed? About six months after I prayed Christ into my life, I had a car accident. I had a severe concussion, broken collarbone and needed stitches in my forehead. My parents drove me to see my car and retrieve my belongings. When I did, I was shocked by all the damage.
For the first time, I didn’t think about how another bad thing happened to me. I saw something else. My mind flashed on all those “bad things” and showed me how each one could have been so much worse. I finally saw Jesus at work, protecting me, giving me strength.
I would need that strength for the years to come. Many more hurdles appeared in my way. I often asked, “why me Lord?”. When I did ask I would usually get an answer. More often or not I would realize that I was put in a situation so that I could help others at a later time.
I was up late again last night and got to thinking about my life and how much of it I wasted on not being myself – trying to be what I thought others wanted of me. I thought how much I would love to go back and do things again so I could have more time to live the life I have now.
However, in trying to figure out when the best time to go back was, I realized that no matter when I started, I would be risking some of the good times not happening. I quickly realized that my life has unfolded exactly as it should, and I have the Lord to thank for it all.
Matthew West wrote a song based on Philippians 4:13 called “Strong Enough.” It was part of a project he did about six years ago where he asked people to write in with their stories of how God strengthened them. He was amazed by all the replies he received. I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do.