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That Can Do Attitude
by Deborah McDade 
01/28/11
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THAT CAN DO ATTITUDE

Having been raised on readings of "The Little Engine that Could" and the like, I approach most situations with the attitude that if I use my ingenuity and try hard enough, I can do it. This "can do" attitude has helped me overcome some really tough situations and would even be considered admirable by some. However, I have come to the startling realization that it is not particularly an attitude approved of by God.

To a culture which adulates independent, confident self-starters, this realization of mine most likely sounds faulty. After all, many Christians like to tout the phrase "God helps those who help themselves" as though it comes from the Holy Scriptures. A thorough reading of Scripture reveals that it does not. Conversely, Scripture commends those who humbly come to God, understanding that "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." (Psalm 18:32 NIV)

The apostle Paul stated that when he was weak, then he was strong. This concept seems foreign to our independent human natures. After all, we feel that when we are weak -- we are vulnerable, we are in great danger, we are less than, and we are most certainly foolish for having gotten ourselves into such a situation. Therefore, it is hard for us to admit we are weak, even to God, our Creator and Savior.

Yet, our God invites us to come boldly to Him, seeking for His strength in time of need. Like trees filled with delectable fruit, the entire landscape of Scripture is planted with encouragement for those who seek God's strength and guidance. Promises about God's strength in time of need can be found in Deuteronomy, Joshua, 2 Samuel, Psalms, Micah, the Gospels, 2 Corinthians, and Philippines, to name a few.

I spent many years striving to be a strong Christian. I have grown weary; I have not always been successful. Over the past several years, God has placed me in situations where even my best efforts do not net the results I desire. When I grow frustrated, He gently reminds me that I have been working in my own strength, while asking Him to bless my work.

More and more I have come to understand that His grace, and therefore, His strength, is available to me at all times, in all situations � not because I have been strong and wise and earned it, but because in love, He bestows His grace and favor upon His beloved children.

He brings me again and again to those Scriptures which tell me to let Him be my strength, even when it appears that "I can do it!" It feels like I am learning to walk all over again, and I am, because I am learning to let go of my own determined power and learning to lean into His strength. When I forget, He reminds me that it is okay to fall and get up to try again because, "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." (Psalm 18:32 NIV)

~Deborah Kaye McDade~
Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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