When you feel like you can't

"I can't!" she cried, full of frustration.  Every week we seem to have the same conversation and my heart breaks for her.  She doesn't like spelling, and lacks confidence in her ability to spell.  So each week when she begins practicing her words all she can see is a list of words she just can't spell....yet.  I know that this is just the beginning.

I know that she truly can spell these words if she will just remember the spelling rules she has already learned.  I know she can, if she will just stay focused on the task she has been given, spend some time studying, and apply herself.  I see what she is capable of, even when she does not.

How many times have we yelled out, "I can't" in our own frustrations of life.  I know that I have several times.  Moments when parenting becomes to hard.  When being a wife just feels like to much.  Or when life just seems to keep throwing insurmountable roadblocks on the path that I know I am supposed to be walking.  In those moments, I just absolutely know that I can't go on.  I can't complete the task assigned to me.  But just as I know that my daughter is capable of accurately spelling her assigned words, God knows what we can overcome as well.

First, though, we have to remember the rules we have already learned.  God has given us His plan, how He expects us to live.  When we follow the "rules" we can accomplish anything because He gives us the strength to do so. (Philippians 4:13)  What are the rules?  It's pretty simple really.  Love God.  Love People. (Mark 12:30-31) Actually, these rules are a LOT simpler than the spelling rules my daughter is struggling with, but they are also a lot more difficult to put into practice.

The good news for us, though, is that once we have decided to follow the rules we are gifted with a kind of "cheat sheet".  God gives us the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us. (Ezekiel 36:27, John 16:13)  If we listen, if we pay attention and focus, if we study God's will and apply ourselves, we can overcome anything that is thrown at us!  And just like I have faith in what my daughter can do, God has faith in you too.  After all, He planned it all out for you before you were even born, and His plan is for your good, to prosper you, not to see you fail.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

So the next time you feel yourself wanting to scream out, "I can't," remember that God knows a bit more about the situation than you do and trust Him.  As for my daughter, she passed her spelling test.  You'll pass yours too!