I “met” Christin Ditchfield years ago, through her Take It To Heart!® program, heard daily on hundreds of stations across the United States and around the world. And just this year? I’ve come to call her a dear friend. She has walked alongside me during the upcoming release of my first book.
If you don’t know her already, I think it’s safe to say you will LOVE her.
Christin is an author and a speaker, and she brings her wisdom to the blog today. Here’s the beautiful Christin Ditchfield:
Have you ever stepped out of the boat – metaphorically speaking – simply because Jesus said, “Come!”
I heard a powerful teaching this summer on Matthew 14:22-33. The speaker pointed out that Jesus always supplies all the power, the ability, the grace and the strength we need to accomplish whatever it is that He asks us to do. It’s inherent in the command.
So when He 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.
Mulling it over, I found myself picturing my five-year-old nephew Timmy – love of my life, apple of my eye. We love to do craft projects together. I used to be a teacher, so you can believe me when I say that Timmy is exceptionally handsome and amazingly talented and incredibly smart. He has a fabulous personality!
With one funny little 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. He loves to play. He loves to create. But before I even hand him the scissors or glue or paint, 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 it is. Doesn’t matter.
It’s like an automatic reflex.
I’m not really sure what’s at the root of it. It could be a lack of confidence. Insecurity. Fear of failure. (Boy, it starts early, doesn’t it?) 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 some of Daddy’s … um…overall outlook on life. (There’s a reason we used to call my brother “Eeyore.”) Sometimes it’s laziness. “That looks like work! I don’t feel like making the effort…”
But regardless, my response is always the same: “Yes, you can… see!”
Because 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’t”s, Timmy joyfully discovers that he can – and we make memories, as well as messy craft projects together!
But occasionally the “I can’ts” persist. Stubborn and whiny or whimpering. Again, it may be fear or insecurity… it may be laziness or even disobedience.
That’s when I smile and say – lovingly, sweetly, firmly—in my best teacher voice:
“You CAN … and you WILL!”
And he does.
To bring it back to Peter and the boat, maybe Jesus has called you, as He’s called me, to step out in certain areas of our lives. Step out in obedience and faith.
Some of the things He’s calling me to do scare me! I find myself suddenly filled with fear, anxiety, insecurity, or doubt. Other things look like too much effort, too much work.
I start to lift my foot. I might even get over the side of the boat. But then I turn back.
“I can’t…. I can’t do this… Really… I can’t.”
But Jesus is reminding me that every task He’s called me to is one He’s chosen and prepared especially. He knows that I’m able – or need to learn to be able. He’s equipped me with everything I need. And He’s right there with me, ready to help me every step of the way.
Just like I am with Timmy.
On days like today – when I feel myself shrinking back, when I hear myself saying “I can’t” – it’s as if Jesus is gently tipping my chin up, making me look Him right in eye, as He answers lovingly, firmly:
“Yes, you CAN. And you WILL!
Christin Ditchfield is an author, conference speaker, and radio host, passionate about calling women to a deeper life – the life we long for, the life we were created for! Christin’s latest book is What Women Should Know About Facing Fear (Leafwood 2013). She blogs at www.WhatWomenShouldKnow.org
Christin invites you to connect with her on Pinterest or Twitter @AuthorChristin or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristinDitchfield .