by Pastor Tim Burt
Too often in life, we focus on what we can’t do. You talk with a friend who was laid off from their job because of a down-sizing. They can't pay their mortgage and are in fear of losing their house. What can you do about it? You don't have thousands of dollars to give them. The problem is too big and you think, there is nothing I can do to help them except sympathize. You know someone else who just got in a car accident. His car was totaled and he is without car until he can get back on his feet and hammer it out with the insurance company. What can you do about that? Someone tells you they've been diagnosed with Leukemia and you feel horrible but what can you do? Someone comes to work distraught because their furnace went out and they need a new one. Or the transmission on their car went out and they can’t afford to replace it. You don’t have that kind of money to help them. So what can you do? Nothing?
We are often surrounded with people's over-sized problem. They seem to big for us to begin to address in any meaningful way, and so we end up doing nothing. The majority of people have an all or nothing approach. What we have to come to grips with is that God is mighty. Our willingness to do something, coupled with our faith in God to help with what we cannot do, often leads to a touch of God’s love that has great and even miraculous impact.
I love this verse from the Message Translation. II Corinthians 8:10-11 MSG. It has actually changed my thinking in a profound way. It led to me changing my approach to helping others who are experiencing troubled times. It's not an all or nothing approach. Read this and you'll see. It says, “... do you do what you can, not what you can't.” I love this thought! "Do what you can, not what you can't." If we are willing to do what we can, and ask God to do what we can't, the plan of God and miracles happen.
There is a Bible story of a person that could have said, I am sorry, but there is NOTHING I can do. Instead, this person thought, What can I do? and offered what they could do. This person's response and God's help paved the answer to a troubling situation! In the story of Jesus' birth, we read, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 (NKJV) From those words: “because there was no room for them in the inn,” has come the sub-story of an innkeeper whose place was fully occupied from people that were traveling to their own home town because of a census being taken. Mary and Joseph desperately needed a place to stay because she was about to give birth. The innkeeper was sorry but he had no place for them to stay. As we picture this, we imagine Joseph pleading with the innkeeper. The innkeeper suddenly moves over from the all-or-nothing, to the here-is-what-I-can-do. and offers them the stable where Jesus is then born. The innkeeper didn't get stuck on what he couldn't do which was make a room available to them in the inn. Instead he found what he could do, which was to give them usage of the stable. That decision—that small gesture was a part of a great and mighty event that furthered the plan of God and helped Joseph and Mary so very much. It even made the pages of the Bible!
If this has spoken to your heart in some way today, then take the ride. I challenge you. Next time you sense someone needing help, pause and lift your heart to Heaven and pray, Lord, Please show me what I can do to help. Even if it's encouragement and sincere prayer, that is something! As you do what it is you can do,and pray for God to help them, I promise you it will impact their life in a good way.
“Do what you can, not what you can’t.” Make this a lifestyle and it will be life-changing! You’ll begin the ride of your life! Do what you can and ask God to do what you can't!
II Corinthians 8:10-11 MSG. “… Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt