When You Want to Throw in the Towel

June 17, 2013 | 18 comments


It’s all looked a little impossible lately. It’s not just the lists and the stacks and the deadlines, though there are plenty of those.

There’s more: people we love hurt. We hurt, heart-deep. Friends are staring down mean diagnoses and long roads and uncertain tomorrows.

Lydia knows some of it, because she’s 11 and she reads the back of church bulletins with the long prayer lists. She hears my sides of phone conversations, and reads headlines over my shoulder. So at night, when the moon rises, we talk about it. She pulls up the covers under her chin, and I could tell by the quiver in her voice that she feels like life has had handed out one too many lemons.

“It all looks so … impossible.”

And sometimes, she admits, it makes you want to give up praying. I nod my head in the dark, because I’ve felt that feeling.

But I told her right then: When you want to throw in the towel, throw your problems on a nail instead.

Which is what we did — and what we do, every night and every morning and every noon. We prayed, tossing our worries on Calvary nails.

I tucked her in, then walked out of her room in the dark, and stepped right onto the truth.  It was a tiny spike — long lost from our set of Easter resurrection eggs — poking my foot hard. It was buried in the deep carpet fibers of her bedroom. (That says a lot about my vacuuming regimen around here, and it says even more about my Christ.)

Right in the dark, the truth hit me hard.

Three nails did the hardest work, rescuing us from our Eden-rooted past, giving us hope for our present, and eternally securing our futures.

spike in hand

And just think: our Risen Savior didn’t leave us as orphans. He filled us with His Spirit, so that we could accomplish even greater things.

In Christ, nothing is impossible. As the Body of Christ, we are a part of Team Possible.

For every affliction, restriction, addiction or bit of friction in your life, there is one holy benediction: “It is finished.”

Through Christ and His Christ, the unimaginable becomes imaginable.

The impossible becomes possible.

God knows the unknown, and sees the unforeseen.

He holds all things together, and fastened Himself to a tree as the greatest exclamation mark on the greatest act known to humankind.

Wherever you’re going, He is already there.



“God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”
~ Dwight L. Moody


“Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
~ Jesus Christ


For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
~ The Apostle Paul


“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”
~ Jesus Christ


by | June 17, 2013 | 18 comments


  1. ro elliott

    Thanks…a gift to start my morning…surrounded right now with lots of impossibles…holding hope for situations that through human eyes are hopeless…

  2. debyholtschlag

    Thank you, again, for being His vessel – how I marvel of the timing of His Words through “HIS” Team Possible fills our hearts exactly when we need them. How I marvel when looking back, how He brought me to become part of “HIS” team. Belonging/being an essential part, as we all are to/for Him. So thankful in how – our precious Abba – so very much blesses~

  3. Janet Popelka Thorne

    Thanks Jennifer, this is just what I needed today!! I also enjoyed the Extra Extra and your daughters article on “Feed His Sheep”. Oh how I can relate! Right now we have about 900 ewes and about 300 have babies and are out in the pasture behind our house. How humbling it is to watch those sheep and see the Bible come to life. What a blessing your blog is for this farm wife and former Iowa girl. Thank you!!

  4. Kathryn Ross

    Delightful to meet you, Jen! Abby at Little Birdie Blessings invited me to visit and I’ll be following you now – and adding the link to Tell His Story to my place at The Writer’s Reverie. I have a passion for “story” and seek to find His Story in everything that surrounds me – tangible and intangible! Love to find kindred spirits in the storytelling world! This is a great post to be introduced to you through as there is something in my life just now I really need to throw on a nail! Thank you for further confirmation in the part I need to play as this current “story” plays out . . . Joy!

  5. Helen Murray

    ‘Wherever you’re going, He is already there.’ That is very much what I needed to hear today. It’s been a week of bad news and uncertainty and those words have just jumped out at me. Thank you.

  6. Nancy

    “wherever you’re going, He is already there”. Indeed!! I am hanging on a nail the new journey God has for my son, his wife and our 2 grandchildren. He has been a minister to church’s in the interim, at a neighboring prison and now, the great unknown (but not to our heavenly Father). They are selling all they have to travel with the good news of Jesus Christ and minister to the hurting. We have 3 more months with them being 10 minutes away, then they are off on a new journey. I would appreciate prayers from any fellow believer who reads this.

  7. Floyd

    Great analogy and lesson for an eleven year old or anyone wise enough to listen. Count me in the group wise enough to grasp this Truth.

  8. jeanwise

    I love this image. Thank you for the encouragement today!

  9. raincountrywriter

    Thanks, Jennifer. You ALWAYS hit it (whatever IT is) on the head. I don’t have time to read one more blog!!! I tell myself, then read yours and am so thankful I did. This one, I’ll be referring back to time and again.

  10. Deidra Riggs

    Yes. Good words. That final blessing…nothing comes after it, really. Nothing tops it. Nothing undoes it.

  11. Nancy Ruegg

    “Wherever you’re going, He is already there.” These words resonated with me, too. Thank you, Jennifer for another post of challenge and encouragement. You have a way of creating a perfect balance between those two purposes!

  12. Mia

    Dear Jennifer
    I can imagine how hard it must be for a young one to come to grips with a broken, dark world. But what brings so much peace and assurance to my heart, is Romans 8 where Paul assures us not of an easy, problem free life, but that nothing whatsoever will ever be able to seperate us from the love of God as long as we remain in Jesus. All His riches can be found in our Lord Jesus.
    Much love XX

  13. Sheri Bennett

    I love that image of “throwing it on a nail instead.” Having several children, I can’t even count the times I told my kids to hang up their clothes–and, since they shared “dish detail”–how many times I told them to hang up the dish towel after they dried the dishes. Their habit was to drop the towel wherever, and more often ended up carelessly on the floor or wadded up between the couch cushions where the kids landed after dish duty. That’s the image that came to mind for me. We so carelessly toss what it good or our faith aside when we are overwhelmed or just “done.” But when we carefully hang our faith–our whole life in fact, good and bad–on His nails, our struggles seem to “dry out”and life becomes usable/do-able again. Thanks for sharing your insight. As always your heart brings the heart of God to all of us.

  14. Kathy Schwanke

    I love your words and love learning from you about writing and life. And I love this: {For every affliction, restriction, addiction or bit of friction in your life, there is one holy benediction: “It is finished.”} LOVE!!!!! Cant wait to MEET YOU!!! 🙂

  15. Jennifer Bush Dorhauer

    Lydia is so right–it IS impossible for us to meet those needs. So thankful for this reminder that He has everything in His hands. Nothing overwhelms our God.

  16. Rick Dawson

    We can’t meet the needs of our own power or strength, but we serve a God who can.

    Oh, and the nail not being caught by your vacuum? Gave you the photo for the post, didn’t it? 🙂

  17. Molly

    I stopped by today, Jennifer. (like your new look here) —–hang it on a nail. When I leave my robe behind, I hang it up and walk away…His nail, wow, hung on his nail. I leave those things and I don’t need to worry. Lord, never let me forget that image. Thanks Jennifer.

  18. Sweet blessings!

    Thank YOU for letting God write through you….your posts always inspire, encourage and shine so BRIGHTLY for our Lord! Cheering loudly for you as you continue to be an instrument for Him! Sweet blessings!


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