The Upside of 'I Can't'

May 23, 2014 | 0 comments

    I believe that you can’t lick your elbow.  Go ahead and try it - sitting in the comfort of your couch at home or cubicle.  Maybe wait ‘til no one’s looking.  But I would go as far to say there is no one in Frankfort who can lick their elbow.  You just can’t.
    What happens when you hear you’re not able to do something?  Well, if you’re anything like me you set off to prove how you can.  That is why I think some people might even try all day to lick their elbow - good luck. 
    I remember playing basketball, and all I wanted to do was dunk.  So this meant wearing ankle weights, strength training with my legs, and trying so hard to jump higher and higher.  I had some progress, went from being able to touch the net, to being able to touch the rim, but I never could dunk.  At this point I am no more closer to dunking then I am to singing “Let It Go” in perfect pitch and the same octave as Idina Menzel.  It’s not going to happen.
    Understanding “I can’t” can feel humiliating and defeating.  When you come to the point were you’ve given up trying, and it’s not going to happen it can feel like a dream has died.
    But do you know I believe getting to the point of “I can’t” is your best spiritual position? 
    Let me explain.  God has certain desires for us, call them goals that he wants to see us be able to do.  It’s not about licking your elbow, or dunking on a 10 ft rim.  Rather it’s about how we love one another.  He wants to see us sharing such kindness, patience, forgiveness, and goodness with others on a regular basis.  He wants loving thoughts to fill our minds, loving words to fill our mouths, and loving actions carried out through our lives.  And he wants us to do this all the time, each day of our lives, without fail.  In another passage God’s goals for us were stated this way, “Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) 
    How many of us have met these goals of God?  Maybe like me you look at that, and you say, “I can’t.”  And it’s in that moment you’ve reached your best spiritual position.  If you’re willing to accept that defeat, willing to admit you’re lost, helpless, and hopeless by yourself - then the beauty of Jesus will never be more real to you.
    Because Jesus comes into the world knowing we can’t.  He comes in to show that he is the only one who could.  The perfection God sought from us, is the perfection Jesus won for us.  And knowing we can’t we can look outside ourselves and say, “Jesus, you and you alone can do what I couldn’t do.  Jesus you rescue me, because I can’t.”  And that’s exactly the good news we have to share.  Jesus did everything you and I couldn’t do.  And as a gift of faith credits us with perfect life we couldn’t attain.  As a gift of grace eliminates the punishment we deserved through his cross.  And as a gift of hope promises eternal life to all who believe in him. 
    May God overwhelm you with peace today, knowing that when you couldn’t, he could - and all this he did out of love for you.  God bless.

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