There are times in my life where I have struggled with how scripture was taken and seemingly twisted. Or,maybe not twisted but used to mean something it simply shouldn't. I struggle, because who am I to say an interpretation is or isn't correct? But it's part of who I am to dig in, contemplate, and consider the scriptures. If we are to have a real faith, then that's what we must do. Lately I have been thinking about Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
It's one of those verses I know by heart, and yet I scoff a little bit I when I read it, to be honest. Because I know I can't do all things. I simply was not made to do everything. I can't lift a thousand pounds. I can't do one hundred pushups. I wont have a large family. And when I heard the verse I hear, "I can do everything." And I'm simply not sure that's how the verse is to be interpreted.
I was, however, made to do certain things. And the more I think about this verse I think about it not as an end point, but a process. As I dug in to what the scripture said my perspective shifted ever so slightly, but enough for me to understand and be at peace with the verse once again.
This section of Philippians says, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
He says he has learned the secret. Well, what is the secret? The secret IS we can do everything in him who gives us strength. I feel as if I haven't said anything differently, yet my perspective has changed. I wonder if a better way to put it would be "I can face everything through him who gives me strength." The Amplified version puts it "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me." Do you see what I am seeing?
I CAN'T do everything, but I can face everything because God will be my strength. I CAN'T do whatever I want, but God will strengthen me to face whatever my path crosses. If my life takes a turn and I have to face something that I once thought was impossible, I know now that it's not because God will give me the strength to face it and be content in the middle of it. It's how I get through this life, not simply doing "x" which this verse is speaking about.
I wont scoff anymore when I read this verse. Now I will see it with a realistic heart:thinking I can do whatever I want to do, but being strengthened and empowered by a God who loves me.
I hope this is something that encourages you as well.