NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!

I love a “never give up” attitude!  When my son Jeff, at the age of three, was desperately trying to learn the art of tying his own shoes, I tried to encourage him by saying he had time to learn; there was no rush.  Once I learned Tommy Dinkerdoodle—I’ve learned I’m supposed to change the names of people to whom I refer—could tie his shoes without even muttering to himself, I then understood Jeff’s intensity.

One morning when the shoe tying effort was especially unrewarding, I thought I’d inspire Jeff with the words of Winston Churchill spoken during some of England’s darkest days during WWII. (I know. . . I know.  Sometimes during my early mothering phase I found myself talking for my own edification.)

“Jeff, honey. . . when it looked as if England would be defeated by the Nazi soldiers marching across Europe and heading for London, Winston Churchill addressed the people and shouted, ‘Never give up. . . never, never, never!’.”

Taken back by my dramatic outburst, Jeff walked into the kitchen and asked if he could maybe have a piece of toast.  I decided it would be good if we both had a piece of toast.

Hours later I passed Jeff’s room; he was sitting on the floor once again struggling with his shoe laces.  He was muttering over and over, “Never get up. . . never. . . never. . . never.”  The inspirational words were incorrect but his spirit of determination ultimately paid off.  He lives in California; I live in Texas.  I have yet to fly there to help him tie his shoelaces.

Those of us well-schooled in biblical promises know the words of Philippians 4:13.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJ)  But sometimes I wonder if I truly have an accurate interpretation of that verse.  Sometimes I’m not sovereignly designed to “do all things”; sometimes I need to trust whatever God intends for me to learn when I don’t succeed.  “I can do all things” may mean I will be strengthened as I live through an experience I did not expect or choose.  With God’s enablement I can do it.

I need to listen carefully to what God may be teaching me, even when I don’t achieve my goal!

 

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