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Strength in the present tense

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

This scripture is on my mind because my daughter is “doing the talk” for the Fellowship of Christian athletes at her school today and this is ‘her’ verse. Not sure whether she chose it or it was chosen for her.

Anyway, this morning it’s mine. And I embark on my day with a mighty, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…” and a voice a bit louder than a whisper says, “just not all at once.” And this gets right to the heart of the matter. There is so much to be done. So many things needed. So many in need.  And in the morning I think, “Yes! A new day.” and I look at my to-do list, neatly categorized and boldly written in black pen. And I think, “Yes! I can do that and that and, oh, I really need to do that, too. And then this has been on the list a long time. I really should either do it or take it off the list.” You can see my problem.

I am trying to do all things through me who strengthens me. And I can beat myself up about this. Re-dedicate to be more organized. Cross off a few things to shorten the list. Pray more and see if a Mighty list appears, complete with a numbering system in the left hand column. Or…I can just get started.

Because that’s what occurred to me when I typed this verse. “Strengthens” is a present tense verb. Meaning, I need not wait to be strengthened before doing. It wouldn’t be wise for me to wait for the starting gun to sound. Because God’s strength will be there in the doing. During. Done deal. I just need to look for it there. I can count on this. Anticipate it, even. He won’t hide it; He’s not like that.

Though I must remember, after, to give thanks for the strength that was mine in the moment I was made able. Not to presume on it next time, but perhaps to feel a bit less anxious awaiting it’s arrival.

Which reminds me of this quote from Seth Godin’s blog yesterday:

“If we define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance, we can also understand its antonym, anticipation.”

Anticipating God. He’ll be here, presently. He says so. So, what am I waiting for???

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