I’m about to tell you four little words that have been used in motivational and inspirational speaking, well… never.
You can’t do it.
No, in motivating speeches, you might hear something like…
“If you try hard enough, you can accomplish anything!” or
“You can do anything you set your mind to!” or
“There is no limit to the power of your dreams!”
But as a mother who loves you so much, I have to tell you… those words, no matter how many smiley faces and rainbows and rays of sunshine are surrounding them… are (get ready for it)… bologna.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You are extremely intelligent. I admire your perseverance. Even though you are young, you are creative; you are clever, and you are diligent. You are truly talented at so many things, and I could not be more proud of you than I am right now. God has gifted you with all of these skills and talents and abilities.
This four-word message is in no way an excuse I’m giving you to stop trying or to be lazy. Along with those gifts, you are entrusted with the great responsibility of using your talents and resources to the fullest.
But, no matter how much you plan… no matter how hard you try… no matter how powerful and gifted you seem to be… You can’t do it.
You see, between where you are now and where you want to be, there is a gap.
You can seem to get so far on your own abilities, but there will come a point when you’re reaching and stretching, and you still find that goal is elusive, and you can’t grasp it. You’ll find… you can’t do it.
I believe that gap between you and your objective is there on purpose.
Before we get any further (and please don’t stop reading and get all depressed… it gets better), I want to make sure we’ve cleared up a few things about the aforementioned goal we’re talking about. You are three-years old right now, so I truly have no idea what is in store for you or what your dreams will be, but I know of a few true statements that should describe your aim.
First, every dream worth chasing, every accomplishment worth achieving and every goal worth pursuing should constantly be aligned with the primary reason you were created… to bring glory to your Creator. If it’s not something that can reflect God’s love and majesty to the world, it’s definitely not the goal I’m talking about. If your ambition is selfish or against the plain instructions He has written in His Word, that’s a whole ‘nother story. A selfish kind of goal is one you may be able to reach on your own; you may feel all proud of yourself for doing it at first. But it comes with a price. At best, accomplishing it will be worthless; at worst, it can be destructive.
No, the goal I’m referring to is truly good and honoring to God.
Secondly, every dream worth chasing, every accomplishment worth achieving and every goal worth pursuing should be big. I’m not talking big like a watermelon or big like an elephant; I’m talking big like Mars… the planet. You know that pure desire God has placed in your heart… the one that is constantly running in the back of your mind, and when you think about it, it makes you feel rejuvenated and excited to live? Don’t be afraid of it. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.
If he has given you a passion for something fantastic, don’t back away from it just because it is big and because it seems out of reach.
It is out of reach.
And that’s ok.
In fact, I think it’s out of reach on purpose.
I want you to think of just a few people you may recognize by their first name only and their big ideas… Noah and his ark. David and his giant. Hannah and her baby. Peter and his prison break. Jesus and his cross.
In each and every one of those defining accomplishments which are remembered thousands of years later… each goal had three things in common.
It was God-glorifying.
It was big.
And it was beyond the abilities of that person.
Noah was strong enough and intelligent enough to construct a massive boat.
But God needed to provide the directions, and God had to ultimately shut the door.
David was ambitious and passionate.
But God had to orchestrate the details perfectly to conquer Goliath.
Hannah had desire, love and compassion for a child.
But God was the one who gave life.
Peter had boldness and tenacity.
But God literally moved the earth to set him free.
Jesus was fully deity and fully human.
And God had to send Him to Earth in love to carry out His plan to save mankind.
God had to fill the gaps.
When you’ve used all the intelligence, creativity, resources and abilities you have to reach your goal (and there will certainly be some days when that big goal looming in front of you and seemingly out of reach is simply to make it through the day, because there are days – maybe weeks or months or years – when you will be overwhelmed and hurt and discouraged… and even peace seems out of reach, and your goal is going to be to think rightly and get through each moment)… and when you’ve come to the end of yourself, and you simply cannot attain the goal or get through the day… God is there.
I believe he purposely creates that gap between where you are and where you need to be, so He could be the one to fill it. Just like all the stories you know about those people who apparently only had first names.
Sometimes, I admit, I think I DID IT. I think it’s me who is the power behind all my accomplishments. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to and run completely on dream-power. As I pat myself on the back, I feed myself those inspirational quotes surrounded by happy thoughts and sunshine and rainbows. But I’m just fooling myself.
God then has to remind me… it’s not me. It’s Him.
He has taken me to a place where I cannot reach my goal on my own.
Many times, it’s been through a difficult and unexpected circumstance that upends the plans I had to accomplish my aim by myself – even though it may have been a good aim.
And I finally realize the truth… He was the power source all along.
Seriously… I’m not even able to take a breath or move my hands to open a peanut butter jar unless he allows it… and here I was thinking I was going to reach these major achievements on my own? Yeah, right.
I guess it’s best to edit that four-word sentence from the beginning.
(Yeah, I’m allowed to do that; I’m your mom!).
You can’t do it… alone.
So get out there, and use all your ingenuity, talent, intelligence, creativity, individuality and cleverness. God is the one that gave all those things to you, so return your thanks for His gifts by using them for His glory.
And then, when you’ve got nothing left, and your big, God-honoring goal is still out of reach – trust Him.
His talent, intelligence, creativity and power have always been bigger than ours anyway.
Lean on His power and promises, and watch Him fill that gap.
Watch Him do something amazing.
“You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you.”
Now that’s a statement that should truly prompt smiley faces and rainbows and rays of sunshine all over it.
You can do it – with God.
*Disclaimer… Just to make it totally clear, I’m not saying you “can’t do it” because you’re a girl or because you’re young or because of any identifying factor of yourself. I’m saying it because you’re human… this applies to all of us.