I got to go to the zoo with my favorite two-year-old girl last week. I love this kid and her mommy and daddy so much, and every time I spend time with her, I learn something about myself or about God and how much He loves me.
When you walk into the zoo, the first thing you see generally is a pond full of flamingos. And usually at this time of year, they’re all huddled up and sleeping, but not this day. This bizarre February day, it was 70 degrees outside. So the fluffy pink birds were all swinging their necks around and making a huge ruckus. And Hoochild wanted to see them, but she couldn’t see around the fence.
So I grabbed her, lifted her up so she could stand on the fence, and we both looked at the flamingos together. But as I stood there with her, holding her up so she could see the birds, I wondered if that’s how God feels with me sometimes. There are so many things I want to do and accomplish, but I can’t do them on my own. He’s got to hold me up.
Today’s verse is Philippians 4:13.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
This is one of those often-quoted verses that Christians throw around to encourage each other, and it’s a great verse for that. But sometimes I think it gets used too much.
Feeling depressed and useless? You can do anything with Jesus’ help! Feeling sad and powerless? You can do anything with Jesus’ help!
Don’t get me wrong. That’s 100% true. But when this verse is used that way, it makes me feel like I’ve got to do something more than what I’m already doing, and that’s not always the case.
Sometimes you can’t do anything. Sometimes all you can do is ask God for help and let Him hold you up in His strength. This verse isn’t about you having the strength to accomplish miracles; this verse is about God being gracious and loving enough to lend us His strength.
I can’t do everything. Shoot, guys, I can’t really do anything. None of us can. Maybe we can accomplish little things or complete little tasks on a daily basis, but without God’s power, they’re just blips on the Richter Scale of history. It takes God’s power for anything we do to be earth shaking.
So how do you gain access to God’s power? It’s easy. You just have to ask for it. Tell God you want to see the flamingos and trust Him enough to let Him lift you up so you can see. That’s the hard part—the trusting part. But God is worthy of our trust. He won’t ever let us down, and He won’t ever let us fall.
And you’ve got to admit that watching flamingos by yourself is kind of lame. It’s always better to have someone else along.