This weekend I had the joy of taking part in our church weekend away.
It was lots of fun! Around fifty of us went away together- all ages from a month-old baby to a lady in her 70s- and we had a great time walking, worshipping, playing games, and eating and chatting together,
A highlight was the Saturday night talent show, and there was one moment in particular which God used to teach me…
A girl, aged about 6 years old, got up to do some Highland Dancing. The music began and she danced the first few steps. She was doing well, but then she seemed to make a small mistake. It was hardly noticeable, but it knocked her confidence, and she was unable to continue, but instead ran straight to her mum, sobbing, “I can’t do it!”
She went out to calm down and the other acts continued, but a short while later the presenter announced that she was going to have another go.
This time she was not alone. It turned out that one of the ladies in the church had done Highland Dancing in the past. She had gone outside to help the girl and was now going to perform with her.
The two of them danced in perfect unison and this time it all went smoothly. Halfway through the lady returned to her seat and left the girl dancing by herself, now full of confidence and beaming with pride. When she finished, everyone stood and applauded not only her skilful dancing, but the courage and perseverance it took for her to give it another shot. It was a beautiful moment.
As I thought about it later, I realised that on Friday afternoon, I had felt much the same as the girl:
“I can’t do it!”
A series of small things had gone wrong that day and there were various situations where I felt overwhelmed. There was fear about the weekend away: despite the fact that I love my church and know that I belong, my past struggles with church still cause me to doubt that at times, especially when my feelings tell me otherwise.
It all felt too much and several times I prayed to God: “I can’t do it!”
The events of the talent show reminded me that we all have times when we feel like we just can’t do it but, more importantly, reminded me of the truth: we were never meant to do it alone.
We were never meant to face our challenges by ourselves, relying on our own strength or ability to make it through.
We were never meant to be self-sufficient.
We were never meant to feel like it all depends on us.
There are times when we can’t do it alone, but we don’t have to do it alone, because we have a helper.
Just like the lady who came alongside the little girl to give her the confidence to try again with her dancing, we have a God who comes alongside us to breathe new life and new hope into us by his Holy Spirit.
We have a God who encourages us to get up and try again, who fill us with his strength when we are all-too-conscious of our own weakness.
We have a God who comes alongside us and does the dance with us, who will never leave us or forsake us.
And in his strength, with him by our side, we can do it.
We can dance in front of others, we can move on from our mistakes and try again, we can put aside our fears to enjoy church weekends…
We can do whatever he is calling us to do, because he promises to equip us, and he is faithful.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV)
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)
What about you? Where have you seen God’s power or known his presence and help in a time when you felt weak?