God is more concerned with conforming me to the likeness of His Son than leaving me in my comfort zones. God is more interested in inward qualities than outward circumstances. Things like refining my faith and humbling my heart, cleaning up my thought life and strengthening my character. - Joni Eareckson Tada
Have you considered climbing out of bed—or stepping out of the boat, metaphorically speaking—simply because Jesus says, “Come!”?
A few years ago, I (Christin) heard a powerful teaching on Matthew 14:22-33. The pastor pointed out that Jesus isn’t confused about our skills or abilities. He doesn’t play games with us or set us up to fail. He’s not a hard or unreasonable taskmaster. He’s the Lover of our Souls and our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. He has called us to faithfully follow Him and to accomplish His will, the work of His Kingdom here on Earth. He wants us to be successful in that, to fulfill the plans and purposes He has for us.
So any time He asks us to do something, He always supplies the power, ability, grace, and strength we need to accomplish whatever it is that He asks us to do. The tools we need actually come with the command.
When Jesus asks us to do something, we don’t have to wonder if we will be able to do it. We know that we can, even if that means walking on water like Peter.
As I consider this idea, I find myself picturing my young nephew, Timmy—the love of my life and apple of my eye! We enjoy doing craft projects together. I was once a teacher, so you can believe me when I say that Timmy is exceptionally handsome, amazingly talented, and incredibly smart. And he has a fabulous personality!
He does have one funny quirk. Every time he’s faced with a new challenge or opportunity, Timmy responds with these two words: “I can’t.”
It’s so silly! He loves to learn, play, and create. But before I even hand him the scissors or glue, he declares he can’t do whatever I’m about to ask him to do. He hasn’t even tried. Most of the time he doesn’t even know what the project is. It doesn’t matter.
“I can’t,” he says.
It’s like an automatic reflex.
I’m not sure what’s at the root of this attitude. It could be a lack of confidence, insecurity, or a fear of failure. He may have inherited some of Auntie’s perfectionism: “If I don’t think I can do it perfectly the first time, I don’t want to try.” Or he’s embracing some other family members’ “Eeyore-ish” perspective on life. Sometimes it’s laziness. That looks like work, he’s probably thinking. I don’t feel like making the effort.
Regardless, my response is always the same: “Yes, you can!”
I’m able to say that because I plan for his success. There are three things to know about every project I put in front of Timmy:
1. I chose it specifically for him. I prepared it ahead of time. I had a plan and a purpose in mind. I knew before I brought it to him that he was fully capable of accomplishing the task, or (being a teacher) I knew that he needed to learn the skill involved and that this was the way to learn it.
2. I have already equipped him. I’ve prepared him through other projects we’ve worked on together. And I’ve provided him with all of the supplies and tools he needs because I want him to succeed.
3. I’m not going anywhere. I will be right there beside him, ready to help every step of the way.
Most of the time, after one or two “I can’ts,” Timmy joyfully discovers that he can. And then we make memories together, as well as messy craft projects!
Occasionally the “I can’ts” persist. He remains stubborn and whiny. That’s when I smile and say—lovingly, sweetly, firmly—in my best teacher voice:
“You can and you will!”
Timmy finally follows my lead, and that leads to success.
Has Jesus called you, as He’s called me, to work on a project with Him?
Let’s stop waiting for a sign. Let’s stop running, hiding, and pulling the covers over our heads. We need to stop slumbering, aka “seeking the Lord in a dream.”
Instead, let’s step out in obedience and faith.
Some projects He’s calling me to do scare me! I find myself suddenly filled with fear, anxiety, insecurity, or doubt. Other projects look like too much effort, too much work.
I start to lift my foot. I might even get it over the side of the bed, but then I tuck it back under the covers.
“I can’t! I can’t do this. Really, I can’t.”
Jesus then reminds me that every task He’s called me to is one He’s chosen and prepared especially for me. He knows that I’m able or I need to be able. He’s equipped me with everything I need. And He’s right there with me, ready to help every step of the way.
Just the way I am with Timmy.
When I hear myself saying “I can’t,” it’s as if Jesus is gently tipping my chin up and making me look Him right in the eye. I feel Him gazing at me with love and telling me firmly, Yes, you can. And you will! Let Me help you.
Depression, fear, a sense of unworthiness, and unfulfilled dreams can make women retreat to their beds—figuratively and literally—and refuse to face life. Yet most of the time, hiding in bed makes matters worse. Who needs emotional bedsores? Authors Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield gently show women how to climb out from under their emotional bedcovers, face their fears and doubts, and step into the lives God has planned for them.
Can I Just Hide in Bed ’til Jesus Comes Back? faces down the fear, depression, and unfulfilled dreams that cripple many women to the point of wanting to crawl in bed—for the rest of their lives. Compiled as a collection of short, mostly humorous and warmhearted stories, it offers readers practical, concrete steps to help them move forward when they are ready. Essays are interspersed with special humor features such as “Top Ten” lists, while “Whenever You’re Ready” sections offer Scriptures, journaling questions, and practical suggestions for “putting your feet on the floor” and “taking a few steps forward.” The book addresses four themes:
- Facing feelings of fear, anxiety, discouragement, and depression
- Facing people and relationship issues
- Facing the pain of grief and loss
- Facing life—and getting yours back