You Can Do It!
by April Osteen Simons
Do you ever feel like when you need God’s help the most, it seems He’s nowhere to be found? You just can’t feel His presence? I know I have. These are the times we must become like David, in the Bible, and encourage ourselves. We have to remind ourselves that God is aware of everything we are going through and He is working things out on our behalf. It may feel like He’s on the other side of heaven, but the reality is He listens the split second you call out to Him. (Psalm 4:3) He’s a genuine Father that cares about His children.
I remember like it was yesterday…
I was on the pitcher’s mound and our team was in the final game of playoffs. Whoever won this game would win the championship. Two people were on base. The girl that stepped up to the plate looked like, first of all, she was going to hurt me and secondly, she was going to hit the ball into the next county. Our coach motioned to the outfield to move back—way back.
Talk about pressure! The count was full. It was up to me to pitch a ball that would, hopefully, strike her out. The moments were intense. Standing there, I listened as the crowd cheered HER on. Not only that, they were shouting a few derogatory remarks about me! “She can’t do it…don’t worry about her…You got it easy.” It seemed as though everyone was on her side.
As I got in position to pitch, the crowd became silent. It was almost an eerie silence. Everyone was waiting to see what would happen. As I was focusing on the catcher, something caught my eye. Just above the umpire’s head, behind the fence, I saw someone stand up…it was my dad. There he was with his little 5’7″ self, dressed in his baseball cap and shorts with the whitest legs you’ve ever seen (by which I was briefly blinded, Ha!) In the midst of the silence, with all of his might he yelled out, “Come on April…YOU CAN DO IT…this will be the WINNING strike!”
I can’t begin to tell you what that did for me. That was my dad, who I absolutely adored. Countless hours he had worked with me to be the best I could be at pitching. If anybody knew what I had in me, it was Daddy. His words of encouragement gave me a new confidence. After all, if Daddy said I can do it, then I must be able to do it!
Well, we did it! The strike went in and we won. What a great day that was for our team. The victory was sweet!
How often do we go through difficulties in life and feel like we’re all alone? Sometimes it feels as though everyone is cheering for the “other” side. It appears all odds are against us. And if that isn’t enough, the giants we are facing seem like they are in a league of their own.
There’s a wonderful scripture found in Romans 8:34 that says, The One who died for us…is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. I love that scripture. It promises me no matter how overwhelmed, under-qualified and all alone I might feel, God is cheering me on. What an incredible feeling.
Think about it—The Creator of heaven and earth is on your side! You know why? Because He knows what’s in you. He knows what you’re made of. After all, He created you in His image. That means you are not an accident, you are not a second thought and you are not a failure. God absolutely believes in you. He knows with His help you can make it through anything.
I know it’s hard sometimes when you’ve been hurt in life. I’ve encountered countless people who have been abandoned and rejected; whether by a spouse, close friend or family member. Because of it, a guard has gone up in their lives—a wall, if you will. A wall that says, You can’t get too close, because you might leave me. And I just can’t go through that hurt again.
Unfortunately, there’s no promise that you won’t be hurt again by people. But there is definitely an eternal promise that God Almighty will always be there for you. He’s that friend that sticks closer than a brother and an ever-present Help in time of need.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:1-God is looking over your shoulder. In other words, God has your back. He’s looking out for you. You may be facing strong opposition right now. Let me encourage you to keep the faith. The difficult times of life are not the times to question God and wonder if He’s there. Instead, they are times to say, “God, I trust in You and I depend on Your faithfulness. I know You will see me through this difficult time.”
The tough and challenging times are when God sees what we are made of. You see, tough times are training times. God wants us to get to the place where we’re focusing on the Mountain-Mover and not the mountain. He wants us to “tune out” the naysayers and “turn up” what His Word is saying.
Let me encourage you, don’t let what you are currently facing paralyze you. It may seem like it’s going to get the best of you, but you simply have to give it to God and trust that He will work everything out. Everything around you might be saying, “There’s no way you’re getting through this” but God says, He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ever ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)
1 Peter 4:12&13 tells us, When life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad…this is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. In other words, Hang in there! THIS could be the day you see your breakthrough. On top of that, you’re becoming stronger with each battle you face.
Maybe you’re feeling the pressure right now. Maybe you’re on that pitcher’s mound. Hey, it’s ok. Take a deep breath. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Now…look beyond what’s staring you in the face. A little bit higher. Ah, there He is. Listen…I think you might hear Him saying, “Come on! You can do it! This is the strike that is going to bring you the victory!”