“I can do everything through Christ..” – Is That a Broken Promise?

Can a promise mean something bigger than you imagined?

We watched the powerful movie SOUL SURFER, the true story of a young lady with two passions: God and surfing. Both are tested when a shark bites off her left arm.

As she’s recovering in her hospital room, her dad encourages her (and himself) with a familiar scripture:

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Later, as she begins to comprehend the reality of her injury and the adjustments it requires, she screams in frustration, “WHAT HAPPENED TO “I CAN DO EVERYTHING THROUGH CHRIST’? WHERE’S THE STRENGTH HE PROMISED WHEN I NEED IT?”

It’s a fair question, one I imagine we’ve all asked at some point. She believed with all her heart that God would help her get her life back, but she couldn’t even put on a swim suit with one hand. How could she ever hope to surf again? What did everything matter without the one thing that mattered most?

What’s the meaning of the promise that “…I can do everything through Christ …”?

I don’t think God’s assuring me that I’ll be able to dunk a basketball from my wheelchair if I try really hard and really, really believe. I have a feeling that “everything” involves something bigger than the physical functions I’d like to perform.

As I read Philippians 4:13 in context, I see an assurance that Jesus will give me the strength to endure whatever I encounter. He’s not telling me I’ll be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s promising that He’ll help me face and overcome any obstacle.

When I was injured, all I wanted was to walk again. I still want that.

God showed me that I don’t need to walk to have a purpose, to accomplish a big dream, perhaps even bring together a circle of folks that can change the world. He showed me that there are other ways to get where He wants me to go.

Does my inability to walk represent a broken promise because Jesus didn’t give me the strength to do “everything”?

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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