Not in Our Own Strength

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Do you ever have those mornings when you wake up, eyes barely open, and you already feel overwhelmed? In your mind you're thinking about how little sleep you got and you're assessing whether or not you have enough energy to get through your day. Your feet have not yet hit the floor and you already feel defeated by the day's agenda. You're not alone.

In fact, I believe every one of us has had the same experience at least once. But the problem is, we don't talk about it. Sure, most of us will talk about the big, life-changing decisions and struggles in our lives, but rarely do we admit to ourselves and others that sometimes we struggle day-to-day with the “little things.”

When we read verses like Philipians 4:13 that says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” we think the verse just applies to the major challenges in our lives. But it doesn't...

God gives us the strength for ALL things—big or small!

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God has planned each of our days in advance, knowing exactly what challenges lay before us. He knows, to the second, the amount of sleep we will get the night before.

He knows that my 4 year old will wake up at 12am for prayer because she had a nightmare. He knows my 2 year old will wake up at 2am because her eczema is bothering her. He knows that my baby will wake up at 4am just to make sure I am still there and again at 6am to be fed. He knows that the last thing I want to do at 7am is get up and go exercise.

Often when I wake up in the morning, I lay there assessing how much sleep I got and thinking about the day ahead. In my mind, I have already decided which tasks are possible and which are not. The problem with that is I am focusing on myself instead of God. I am relying on myself to meet my needs, rather than the One who gives me everything I need.

For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall” {Psalm 18:29}

How do we do that?

“'Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit' says the Lord Almighty.” {Zechariah 4:5} It has nothing to do with our own strength! If we want to live out the day as God has planned it, then we need to start relying on Him to supply us with everything we need.

In my experience, working harder, longer and faster is only a temporary solution. Doing things my way, in my own strength, is not sustainable. My energy, my patience, my joy and my resolve runs out. I am of little use to my family when that happens.

Read His word. Pray unceasingly. Find joy in the tasks He has given you.

As I set my eyes on Him throughout the day, I am focusing less on myself and my weaknesses. As I look at each task before me as one next step, I am right-sizing the “little things” in my day. When I view my day as a series of interactions that God has GIFTED me, then that feeling of defeat loses its grip.

If we truly believe that God's plans are the best plans—for ourselves and our families—then we need to begin each day with purpose and trust in Him for our energy and our strength. Relying on Him will allow us to live out each day to the fullest extent of His plan.