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Loner Hand

Since there’s a decent chance you’re not from the Midwest or some part of Ontario (aka the Euchre Belt), you may not understand the significance of these cards. It’s basically the best hand you can get. If you’re holding these cards you call it “alone”. Euchre is a partner game and you ask that partner to sit it out.

Ever been like that with God? More often than you care to admit? Yeah. Me too.

Over the past week or so, I came across a couple of blog posts that really resonated with me. They were about self versus God. One was about trying to do things on our own. The other was about remembering everything we have is from God.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV) is a popular verse but like that movie line, “I don’t think it means what you think it means”. It’s an over-used and often misapplied verse. Even though I repeated it (frequently) as I climbed out of Havasupai canyon, that isn’t really the purpose. It’s Paul’s way of saying every hardship he endured was because of Christ’s strength in him.

I prefer verses that remind me of what I can’t do rather than what I can. Confidence isn’t a problem with me. Humility is.

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

In context, Paul is talking about the thorn in his side and God’s response to his pleas to remove it. However, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch for us to apply as a reminder that all of us are weak. Maybe not in the physical sense. Isn’t this even more important in a spiritual sense? And I can’t think of a greater weakness than the tendency towards pride.

The next time I’m tempted to “go it alone”, I need to remember all that I am and all that I have comes from Christ.

Do you struggle with trying to do things alone?


About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

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