I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Over the last few months, I’ve discovered I have a really hard time following through with my own promise to start and have dinner ready on time. I love to cook, especially in my newly renovated kitchen, but I can’t seem to adopt a late afternoon routine or tear myself away from the nightly news. My husband and I never used to watch the news before, but now we’re glued. Most nights I come away thinking life is just so darn hard right now for everyone.
I think it is safe to say that not many of us like to deal with hard things or to do things that feel hard and scary. I tend to put them off. It’s easier to do the easy things first: pop some popcorn, worry and overthink, make excuses, or check social media. There are times during this pandemic that I have even cried out loud, “I just can’t do it, it’s too hard!” The message I’m really giving myself is that I am afraid to try and I am afraid to fail.
When we were young children, learning to read was hard. But we learned to read. Learning to swim was hard, but we learned to swim. Riding a bike without training wheels was scary and hard, but we did that too. Hard things are our opportunities to gather our courage, to reach out for help and to trust God to provide what we need to succeed.
Remember the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz? Can you picture his downcast face, the constant twirling of his tail, his hesitancy to come forward to face the Wizard? But with the encouragement of his friends, he faced the Wizard. When the medal of courage was put around his neck, his whole demeanor changed. He stood tall. A broad smile came across his face. You could tell he was ready to face anything. “You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
Jesus said in Luke 18:27 that whatever is impossible for man, is possible with God. We can do hard things because our God strengthens us. Whatever it is that you are facing, remember that you are not alone. Hold fast to the encouragement of your family and friends. Take one step at a time. Together we can and will do this hard thing!
Director of Children’s Ministry
For those facing hard decisions:
God of possibilities, nothing is too difficult for you. I know that you have good plans waiting for me, so I shall not fear what I cannot see. Strengthen each step I take to move forward, reminding me to keep my eyes fixed only on you. I await your perfect peace. Amen.
Listen to the story I Can Do Hard Things read aloud. The book is filled with mindful affirmations to help kids be brave & confident because growing up can be hard! It’s about kindness, being yourself and handling tough situations.
Help your child learn that success depends on a willingness to try. Make an “I Can” Can. Cut strips of paper and write the sentence starter, “I can” on each. Allow your child to fill in the blanks. Place the strips in a can to remind your child of things they want to try and accomplish.
Adults can be encouraged by Carrie Newcomer’s song, You Can Do This Hard Thing.