a great day for asking God to help us tie our shoes.
“Not that I have already obtained all of this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Philippians 3:12 NIV
We have all watched children struggle as they learn a new thing: their first steps; tying a shoe; buttoning a shirt, and so on.
We have observed their frustration, and even felt the pain of their tears as they experienced repeated failure. We have all encouraged them, wiped away their tears, helped them a little bit perhaps, but we have always stressed the importance of “pressing on.”
Even after an initial success, sometimes they miss a step, miss a button, or forget how to make that last loop in a shoe string. And again and again, as often as it takes, we encourage them to “press on” to reach their goal. We know they can do it. But without encouragement -and a little help, they might be inclined to give up.
And so it is with us and our goal to know Christ and to do all we can to be like Him. Our steps are tentative, we sometimes forget the next step in tying the shoe string, and we sometimes miss a button. We can become as easily frustrated as a child as we attempt to grow in our faith. We can fail as often as we succeed until we have fully matured in our faith. And even then we will require a little encouragement, and a little help. We must remind ourselves daily that God is there to give us a hand, or to offer encouragement, but we must avoid frustration and learn to reach out for His hand, and to listen for His voice.
As humans, we all make mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes we make is in telling ourselves; “I can’t do this.” We forget the lessons we learned as children and the lessons we have taught our own children. As Christians, we can look to those who cleared the way and we can find encouragement in the words they wrote and the words they spoke. We cannot dwell on past failures and mistakes. Paul offered his own view when he wrote to the Christians at Philippi. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:13 NLT).
God is patient with us, “For He knows how weak we are; He remembers that we are only dust.” (Psalm 103:14 NIV). God knows our hearts, so even if we fall down again and again, if our hearts speak the truth, we can reach out to Him time and time again.
“I will obey Your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!” (Psalm 119:8 NLT).
Fortunately for us, while we may sometimes be discouraged and feel like giving up on ourselves, God never will. Keep looking to Him for help and one day you will learn how to tie those shoes.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson