“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
Let me introduce you to my friend Morgan, riding with me in the photo. What do you notice first—Morgan’s race face or her prosthetic leg? I see a determined, courageous and competitive little girl riding a bike. I see God’s workmanship, a beautiful heart perfectly designed for her specific race, uniquely gifted to achieve God’s special purpose for her life. And wow, what an assignment that is! I see what she CAN do. This might look different—but different doesn’t mean she can’t.
Soon she will be riding without training wheels. At times, she will fall, get scraped up, and probably feel discouraged. There will be days that she may wonder if she still can. But just like every other time, she will keep trying. She will keep learning. She won’t be afraid to fail. Instead, she will keep getting up and not give up. Morgan’s big sister and parents will be there to encourage her. And because she perseveres when things get hard, she will do it. No doubt, I will soon be chasing her down the trail as she speeds away on two wheels!
Morgan may not realize it yet, but God is working through these mini lessons on the bike to equip her for bigger tasks ahead. And as she focuses on using what she has, she will soar fast and far!
What about you? Does it feel like the Lord has given you an impossible assignment? It may be to home school your kids, teach in a virtual classroom, or lead a Bible study group online. Some are starting over in a new job, or searching long and hard for one. Some are fighting cancer. You may be facing the seemingly impossible assignment to love and forgive someone who has hurt you. For me, it is still trying to make the 2020 2021 Olympic team at age 45 46. Can you relate when I say, “Lord—You want me to do what?!”
Every time I start to list what I can’t do or what I don’t have—or begin to wonder how is this possible, the Lord reminds me: Amber, don’t forget who I am and what I say. I am the Sovereign Lord who made the heavens and the earth. The great “I AM”(Exodus 3:14). Nothing is too hard for Me. Fix your eyes on Me. Abide in Me. I set this race in front of you and I am with you. My power is perfected in your weakness. I will direct your steps and give you rest.
Remembering this helps me get the WHO prioritized, and positions me in strength for how I can actively trust God and pursue the task I’ve been given. No, I don’t get every detail up front—but enough to move forward for now.
In Christ, I start where I am—use what I have—and do what is in front of me.
Through Him, I step forward and T.R.Y. I actively trust His love, His plan, His way. I intentionally rest in Him and His promises. I willingly yield to His authority and purposes.
Learning to “do all things through Christ” is more than simply flipping a switch. It’s a process. So don’t be discouraged if you struggle. Recognize the Lord is working directly through your own specific situation in ways you may not fully understand. Read your Bible and listen for Him. He will bring His Word to life in a way that speaks directly to you. He will make His ways and His will known.
So many times, I have seen the Lord use external circumstances and impossible looking situations to transform me from the inside out. Refining me in ways that ultimately serve His greatest glory through those same difficult circumstances.
So when we face an impossible task, let’s see it as an opportunity for the Lord to work in us. Don’t be afraid to try—you never know what you can do until you try. And don’t be afraid to fail. Failures (when stuff doesn’t work) are great opportunities for growth, for learning, and for finding the best solution. Either way, it takes courage and humility.
Like Morgan, let’s focus on what we can do with what we have and remember that Jesus helps us to run the race He sets before us. One of my favorite reminders as I do hard things is this:
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NLT).
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Amber Neben is an ambassador for Christ disguised as a bike racer. She is a 2x Olympian and 3x World Champion cyclist. Amber started the Dare to Be Project out of a passion to make a lasting impact on a child’s life through a gift and a message, just as a baseball player did for her over thirty years ago. The Dare to Be Project inspires financially and physically challenged youth to embrace life and dare to be their dream. To read more from Amber, follow her on Instagram at ambernebenpx4.