"You can do anything if you put your mind to it." Can't tell you how many times I heard that growing up. I've said it a million times myself. Generally, I'm pretty optimistic and have agreed with this statement.
But it just hit me - it's false.
No matter how hard we try - think - push - talk - communicate - spend - beg - some things just won't happen. We're human. We make mistakes. We sin. We have limits. We sin, again. Other people don't cooperate. They fall. Sometimes they fight back or against what we want. Sometimes stuff just doesn't happen.
For me, that's where following Jesus kicks in. He can do anything. Sweet. The scriptures say, "God can do anything ... far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" (Eph 3:20-21). Sounds a bit like a "Sunday school" answer. Imagine with me a 4-year old in a cheesy voice raising his hand and saying "God can do anything!" True. But read the rest of the verse: "He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." God can do anything, but He waits until we WANT Him to. He wants us to ask.
I just took one of those StrengthFinder personality tests for my job. It labeled me a "Maximizer" - one who likes to shape "good" things into "great" things. If I'm going to develop this strength, I better start by giving my goals, efforts, and ambitions up to Jesus. He is, after all, the one who can do 'far more than I could ever imagine or guess or request in my wildest dreams!' Sounds like a Maximizing effort to me.
My Response: God, strengthen me. Give me an inner strength that only You can provide (and while you're at it, make my muscles a little bigger). Teach me how to love better - like Jesus does. Show me today just how extravagant Your love is. Maximize my efforts here on Earth by touching them with Your divine power.