When You Can’t Do It…

girl dancingPhoto by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash

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?

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47 thoughts on “When You Can’t Do It…

  1. Lesley,
    Unfortunately I have had to get to the end of myself on many occasions before finally reaching out the the Lord. I grew up believing self sufficiency was a good and noble thing. I’ve been learning, ever since, that that is not so in God’s economy. He never meant for us to go it alone. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit as our own personal guide and counselor. The sooner I turn to God and say, “I need you,” the better things tend to go. Thank you for a very poignant reminder and great illustration.
    Bev xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, Bev! I also have a tendency to be too independent and I often try to manage by myself for far too long before I reach the point of asking God for help. It’s definitely better when we turn to him and acknowledge our need of his help!


  2. It my moments of greatest doubt or struggle, I often don’t notice He’s carrying me through it. It’s not till afterwards that I can get out of my own head and notice I couldn’t have done it without Him. I’m working on it though.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh my, how beautiful that picture is of that woman stepping up and coming alongside the little girl. Thank you so much for this.

    Like Bev, I grew up believing self-sufficiency and being “strong” were required of me as a believer. But God’s been teaching me to lean into Him instead. To come to Him with my weakness. So, this picture you give is so so encouraging. Thank you so much for also admitting your own struggle. Blesses me to know I’m not the only one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Anna! I’m glad it encouraged you! I also definitely try to be strong far too much, but it’s so much better when we can admit our weakness and our need of God’s help.


  4. What a powerful example of God’s grace to go with us! My heart just about broke for the little girl who nearly gave up . . . Aren’t we all that little girl sometimes? Praise God that he doesn’t ask us to go alone! Love this post!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh I love this, Lesley. Just imagining Highland Dancing makes me think of my Dad and the china figurines my mom still has depicting the dancers.

    And that that wise woman put on her dancing shoes and gave that little girl courage and strength and the sense of not being alone is just a beautiful story …

    Would we all have people to do that for us … and would we all be willing to step out of our comfort zones to share grace and strength with others …


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Linda! It was a beautiful moment, and the woman said she hadn’t danced like that for over 20 years so it was lovely that she was willing to help! It’s definitely an encouragement to think about how we can help others in a similar way!


  6. Dear Lesley, oh, how I’ve needed to hear this encouragement! For me, doing it means hanging on and pushing through with a dream I’m convinced is God-given. I needed to be reminded that I don’t have to do it alone. Even old Scripture friends in your post seem fresh and full of energy. Thanks and blessings for your exhortation!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Alice! I’m so glad it encouraged you! Praying for strength and perseverance as you pursue your dream, and that you know God with you, helping you.


  7. What a beautiful act of kindness the woman showed by dancing alongside the little girl until she gained her confidence back! And what a brave little girl! Thank you for sharing this touching story and the comforting truth that God will always be alongside us to breathe new life and hope into us. I’m so glad you had a lovely time in spite of your fears, Lesley. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is a great reminder that we don’t have to do scary things alone. We still have to do them– we still need to get up and finish our dance–but we don’t need to do it alone! Thanks for sharing your story, Leslie!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Lesley, your beautiful story puts a smile on my face today. Thanks for the reminder that we were never meant to do it alone. I was feeling a bit scared as I look to actually releasing/launching/marketing my self-published book in the fall. Thanks, friend. I’m breathing a bit easier. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Betsy! I’m so glad it encouraged you! Praying that you’ll know God with you each step of the way as you work towards publishing your book!


  10. So often I think God lets me get to the place where I realize I can’t do it, so that I recognize that He can! What a great story! Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Liz! I agree, it’s often only after we’ve tried to do it ourselves that we finally turn to God. It would be so much easier if we’d just ask for his help in the first place!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lesley –

    Oh yes, your post made my heart sing – we are so not meant to do life alone, we do need each other. I am so guilty of trying to go it alone or do it my way, and not wanting to confide in others, but the truth is, I need them and they need me. I was also reminded of my daughter and her “I can’t do it” phrase – she started saying it when she wa 3 and kept doing it until finally the Lord said have her learn Philippians 4:13 – ALL things are possible through Christ who gives me strength. LOL We wrote i on her mirror and on note cards and every-time she said “I can’t” she had to stop and recite Phil 4:13 – What a wonderful life lesson God gave you as you were away being refreshed with your church family! We are neighbors today at #TellHisStory

    PS.. if you are looking for another place to link to on Thursday’s I would love if you would consider joining my new linkup #TuneInThursday – it opens Thursday 3am PST and runs through Sunday night. you can find it at debbiekitterman.com/blog (Please feel free to delete the link if you think it inappropriate).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your comment, Debbie! Philippians 4:13 is a great verse to remind us of the truth at times when we feel like we can’t do it. Thanks for sharing about the linkup too!


  12. What a beautiful story and powerful less, Lesley! I’ve struggled with wanting to do things by myself since I was a little tyke. I recently finished a big project for work that made me realize that I CAN’T nor SHOULDN’T attempt to do everything on my own. I appreciate my colleagues for all the work they did to make the project complete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Anita! I’m glad you’ve known your colleagues helping you as you worked together. I also try to do too much by myself so times like those are a great reminder that we are meant to need others’ help.


  13. Lesley, I love this story you shared. As soon as you mentioned that the little girls lost of coincidence, I thought about Holly Gerth’s post today about holy confidence. That is really what we need to keep going, not confidence in ourselves, but confidence in our God. And I loved that the lady danced with her! Wish I could have seen it!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Such a beautiful post, Lesley. I love that the lady came alongside the young girl and helped her regain confidence. And what you said about us not meant to do/go through things alone? SO true.

    Yes, I’ve had too many times when I’ve tried to do things in my own strength. I always, always end up stressed out and worn down. And, it ain’t pretty.

    Recently, I was heading up a conference for our local writer’s group. I’d had a lot going on with my family in the weeks leading up to the conference. And I was stressed. God brought alongside me a wonderful board of ladies. I had the opportunity to lean on them. Between the four of us, and some other people, the conference went well. I could feel God’s hand on it as He worked out details. I love seeing Him show up to help us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! It’s definitely not healthy to try to do it on our own for too long. Thanks for sharing your story about the writing conference- I’m glad you had a group of friends to support you and that you saw God at work in that.
      Sorry for the late reply!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What a great lesson here, Lesley! We weren’t meant to do this alone. I need to remember that because too often I can be the lone wolf, not wanting to “bother” anyone. But what a joy it must have been for that lady to dance with the young girl. We’re better together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I can relate to the feeling of not wanting to bother anyone. I definitely need to remind myself not to try to do it alone at times! Sorry to take so long to reply to your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Awe, I love the picture of that, Lesley. And, I love how it’s just like God. How he “dances” with us. (Beautifully worded, friend.) Soooo thankful He never asks us to do this life alone. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

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