I can do anything
Philippians 4:12-13. CEB
12 I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor. 13 I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.
In these verses Paul is specifically speaking of finances, as this followed verses in which he thanks the churches in Philippi for a financial gift they had sent to him. He is, of course, grateful for their gift, but he tells them that he can manage without if need be. He has experienced both poverty and wealth, and has learned how to live with both. He no longer lives in fear of economic insecurity for he has learned he can get through any situation by leaning on the Lord.
Easier said than done. In the last couple of months we have seen many people with a fear of not having enough. Toilet paper is hard to come by because so many decided that they needed to stockpile it in the face of shelter in place orders. People have learned that the earlier they go to the grocery store, the more likely it is they will find milk, bread, rice, meal and other staple items. A friend told me that as he headed toward the meat department one day a woman passed him on her way out, her shopping cart filled to the top with meat. When he got to the meat department, the cases were bare. Fear of not having enough can lead to some getting much and some getting nothing.
One of the items that appears with some regularity on my daily gratitude list is “I have enough.” Sometimes that means I am just barely getting by, but I have enough to manage. Sometimes it means I have enough that I can help someone else. The amount of “enough” is constantly changing and has a lot to do with my state of mind at any given moment. Some days I am able to write “I have enough” because I have faith that God will provide whatever I need. Other days I write “I have enough” as an affirmation, to convince myself that God will provide whatever I need.
Just as the meaning of “enough” is subject to change according to my state of mind, so too with Paul’s statement, “I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength”. There are days when this comes easily. There are other days when I have to pray for the ability to say this and mean it. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that I can get through anything for a day, or an hour, or a minute, because I don’t have to do it by myself. The Lord is with me in every situation, and will walk beside me on every step of my journey.
Holy God, in the ebb and flow of life, let your love lift us up to the heavens and ground us in strength here below. Help us remember that you are with us in every situation, and that all things are possible if we put our lives in your hands. Amen.