“Mom, can you open this for me?”
My oldest daughter asked me to pry the lid off a to-go style cup while she did dishes one night. At fourteen years old, she’s taller than me. She may be stronger than me – at least I know she can whack a softball further into the outfield than me. I know she can do twelve full push-ups whereas I max out at five.
I instinctively opened the cup for her without even thinking about it. Afterward though – as I stood beside her at the sink, thinking about how grown up she has become – I thought, “She didn't even try to open it. She assumed she couldn’t do it because she’s never been able to do so in the past. She doesn't realize that she's grown.”
We do the same thing in our Christian growth. We still think we're young – weak – even though God has given us more strength than we know. If we don't ever try something new then we never know the strength given to us. We never realize what we are capable of.
Let me share one of my favorite Bible passages with you; in fact, it is one of three foundational passages for my book, “Everything We Need: God's Path to Know Him Better.” It’s not one I can pull out a little bit to make a point – I have to do the whole thing every time I share it.
Paul prays for us to know three things – our hope in Christ, our eternal awaiting inheritance, and His power for us who believe. Did you catch that third one? Paul, because he had experienced it himself, wanted all of us to know God’s incomparably great power for us who believe. He continues by describing that power…
“That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:19-21).
My daughter has the strength to remove the lid; she just didn’t use it. She didn’t try. She assumed she couldn’t because she had never been able to in the past. But at some point she had grown enough that she can now remove the lid.
If we don’t ever try anything new in our walk with Christ then we will never know our capabilities.
If we don't ever try anything new, we will never see His mighty power work through us to accomplish something we never thought possible.
Can you “pry off your own lid?” Can you step out in Christ’s power and do something new? Go on a mission trip, teach a class, sing a worship song, serve at a shelter, give a few dollars. Maybe you’ve been growing and can do something you never thought possible!