(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 18, "Please make everything easy; I can't take it if things are too hard!", Wilderness Mentality #3, from Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's dig deep and join together to fight this battle.)
Most of the time I have more than enough in front of me to focus on while keeping busy with what needs to be done. I don't exactly stop and take inventory of every little thing I do or all that I have ahead of me. When I do, and it all hits me, I hear the thoughts "This is just too hard. No one can do all of this or carry this load." The fact is, we can't be going all the time and we do carry a heavier load than most of us ever imagined. However, we all are called by God to do the work in our own special way, on His strength, not our own. Since I know that these moments will inevitably happen, I have decided to arm myself with these scriptures, committed to memory:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
I will literally stop in my tracks and recite these in my head as a comeback whenever thoughts of "I can't do this" come to mind. Not only does it break the negative thought pattern, but it brings God into the situation. His power can come to you, and will strengthen you where you need it most at that very moment. We have to fully rely on God, and these are the moments we need Him most.
I want to be really clear about this, this does not mean that we are expected to do everything like some kind of superwoman who never runs out of strength. God gives us strength for what He anoints and purposes for us to do, at the very moment we need it. If we try to take on more than we are supposed to, or more than God leads us to-it is very likely that we will run out of steam quickly. On page 210, Joyce says,
"Grace is the power of God coming to you at no cost to you, to do through you what you cannot do by yourself."
I sometimes want to wince when people say that trials are blessings in disguise. But, as Joyce points out, the truth is we would never grow if our life was easy all the time. Not only would we probably grow bored, but we would never truly know what we are capable of by letting God work through us. As I look back at the past few years of my life, I can see that I am clearly changed. I am not at the place where I would willingly choose for my son to have autism, but I am grateful for the change that has taken place in me. I know and love God in a way that wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't in the position to need Him so much. I clearly see that I need Him desperately in every aspect of my life and am so grateful for the love and grace that He gives, whether I deserve it or not.
Here are some more Bible verses from this chapter that really strengthened me:
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.
-John 14: 16-17
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