I Can’t Do This

April 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Christian Life, For Her

By Jerri Phillips

Tears well and drip onto the paper. Frustrated, she crumples the mostly finished algebra test, jumps from her chair, and runs to her room. The sound of her sobs finds its way to the kitchen where I stand heart heavy.

“I can’t do this.” Her words echo in the kitchen and in my spirit.
Resigned to failure, she hides in her bedroom and finds comfort in the solace of loneliness where no one sees her misery.

I understand.

I can’t do this.

The words I panted when my stomach tightened ready to bring forth a new life. The same words barely coming from my chest when I stood by my dad’s casket and I had to say goodbye for the last time.

These words spill out when hot tears roll down my face because fear has brought me to my knees one too many times and learning to walk in faith seems to be more than I can do. I spit them through clenched teeth with clenched fists when another bumbled performance has shattered my pride. I scream them in the agony of my own frailty, of my own frail faith, and I wonder when I will ever stop doubting. They are confessed confusion when God seems wholly disinterested, and I wonder why I have been left to fight the battle on my own.
I can’t do this.

When lately has the utterance slipped from my lips? Yesterday when bending my son’s headstrong disposition seemed more than my strength or patience could handle. Again this morning when the scale did not show its appreciation for my sacrificial lack of chocolate. On the phone with a friend this afternoon when I tried to fit one more thing into an already full calendar.

Like my daughter, I run to my safe place and hide in my comfort zone. In the silence, I confess, “I can’t do this…without You.”

I cannot raise children whose hearts seek You without Your wisdom each day.

I cannot give up this sin habit without Your cleansing Spirit working inside me.

I cannot love my husband as You desire without Your pouring love for him into my heart.

I cannot face the enemies that ridicule my beliefs without the mind of Christ.

I cannot overcome the fear that this venture might fail without Your Spirit to give me strength.

I simply can’t be the person I know You want me to be without You.
I smooth the crinkled paper and study her work. A few mistakes in calculation, but she has the right idea. She is so close but doesn’t realize it. A little more work, and she’ll have it down. All she needs is a bit of help, someone to encourage her, and faith that good will come if she just keeps trying.

“Honey! Come here!” I call.

So does God.

She emerges from her hiding place.

So do I.

“Let me help you.” We both hear, she with her ears, I with my heart.

We settle ourselves, ready to receive the much needed help. In her eyes I see my heart whispers.

“I’m afraid of failing. I don’t know how to do this, and I’m afraid I never will. I can’t do this without you.”

She doesn’t have to do it all by herself, though. I’m right there with her.

Thankfully, so is He.

About Jerri Phillips


30 Responses to “I Can’t Do This”
  1. Beautiful article! I am so proud of you! And YES, you can! : )

  2. sharilyn says:

    beautifully-said, jerri! a well-connected analogy of our walk with God… it speaks directly to my heart. it reminds me of how Jesus taught the people in simplicity with “stories” to which they could relate, as He painted for them visual word-pictures that spoke truth to their hearts. thank you for the reminder… and the simple picture of God’s loving treatment of each one of us. and for reminding me that i CAN’T do it in my own strength, but with Him, all things are possible! in my weakness, He is strong.

  3. Rhonda, thank you, my friend! You bless me!

  4. Jerri,

    Your list of I cannot’s hit so close to home. God knows that I cannot without Him – and I’m glad that I have come to know the same. Even with that knowledge, it is sometimes so hard to keep going. Lately though, it’s as if His still, small voice is all around – whispering His truth and loving me right through. So humbling – and that is exactly where I need to be! Humbled to LOVE.

    Thank you for being transparent and sharing your heart!

  5. Debra says:

    Yeah! Thank you Lord that we don’t have to do it by ourselves … ever! Great article!

  6. Diane Cook says:

    How timely :) Just this morning on my knees beside my bed I cried out “I can’t do this !!!” Great article, Jerri !

  7. Jenny B. says:

    I definitely needed to read this!

  8. Shelly Anderson says:

    You made a beautiful lesson in a short amount of words and it touched the heart. Thank you so much and you know you can!! Very encouraging, just what I needed!

  9. Wonderful article, Jerri! Beautiful message of God’s love.

    Thank you, sweet friend!

  10. Lisa Bell says:

    Beautiful, Jerri! Right to the heart…
    Thank you!

  11. Bob Loon says:

    Thank you, We Can’t , but with the help of the Lord We can! Nothing is too hard for the Lord !!!

  12. Norma Vera says:

    Good article Jerri!

  13. Lisa, thank you so much for stopping in and dropping a line! You bless me!

  14. Vera, thank you so much for the encouraging words! Blessings!

  15. kimberli brackett says:

    you have a gift my dear…one that i havent’ seen in a long time…an anointing…thank you for sharing! i needed that today more than you know! Keep using your gift for HIS glory!

  16. Julie Glover says:

    Awesome article, Jerri! So true.

  17. Christine Thomas says:

    Love your poignant writing style. Very tender, plus a great message to ponder.

  18. Christine, thank you so much. Your words bless me greatly.

  19. Sharilyn, I am so honored. I was telling Lisa last week that I am again pondering fiction, but it doesn’t come naturally. She said that fiction can teach in gentle, put powerful, ways, and I asked the Lord what His thoughts are. I think your words are His thoughts. :-)

    And, yes, my friend, you can do so much more than you can imagine. You are a talented, beautiful woman of God, and you have so much influence on those around you. People simply cannot help but notice you. Your beauty is stunning.

    Big hugs!

  20. Michele, I think we all need moments when someone whispers, “Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about Him.” I think we can all get discouraged and lost in the trials of daily life, and some mountains are just flat big. However, as you know–and I know you know–the biggest mountains are climbed on our knees in humble obedience to Him one day at a time. Remember, Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Give us today’s strategy. Give me today’s courage. Give me today’s wisdom.

    Today, my dear friend, you are covered by the King, and today is all you have to deal with…and you don’t even have to do that alone. Big hugs!

  21. Debra, wouldn’t we be in trouble if we did have to do it alone?! Hideous thought!!! Thankfully, we have the Spirit, the Lord, the Word, and the blessing of friends. With all those resources,doesn’t it become obvious that God wants us to succeed?

  22. My sweet friend, the one thing I know to do by myself is hit my knees, and every time I do, He is there. I know you know that, which is why you were on your knees. :-) I pray each day gets easier, peace wins, and you become fixated on all can do and desires to do in and through you. He has so much for you, and I am excited to see it unfolding! Big hugs!!

  23. Jenny, thank you for taking time and dropping by. Dream big, child of God, not just in the spiritual but in the physical. Do not just ask what you can do as a warrior but as a person manifesting Him. I pray that you have the revelation of integration and that it allows you to see beyond the boundaries before you. You have much more to do, dear, very much more. Big hugs!

  24. Shelly, thank you for taking time to drop by! Thank you for your encouraging words. You have a gift for nurturing and encouragement, and you always bless me. Sending you warm Texas hugs to your chilly Wyoming!!

  25. Lisa, thank you so much. You have a beautiful heart, and I am so blessed to call you friend. I don’t doubt what you can do, and neither does He. Don’t ever sell yourself short, woman of God! You have the power of Almighty God to help you in ALL good things prepared for you to do. Big hugs!

  26. Kimberley, thank you for your very kind words. Such a blessing! I receive those words!

    You know, it seems to me, woman of God, that people who move mountains need to be reminded to look to the top of the mountain to see who is over it a lot. It is easy to get lost in the mountain or the logistics of moving it, and then Satan likes to weasel his way in with discouragement and doubt–doubt that we heard right, doubt that we are doing things right, doubt that God will really come through. Sometimes we need others to remind us that God is always faithful, always able, and always there. I thank the Lord for folks who do that for me. I pray you always have a focus-friend when you need one! Big hugs!!

  27. Julie, thank you for taking time to drop by. I hope it blessed and encouraged you! Hugs to the family!

  28. Bob and Rosella, you are treasures. Thank you for always saying I can…and for expecting me to. Love you both!

  29. Jeannie Alexander says:

    Jerri, since I’ve screamed those words a few times myself, maybe not outloud, your words were encouraging. Okay, I’m not alone! Thank you, Jerri!

  30. Jeannie! My sweet friend! So good to see you!!!! So glad you came by, and even more glad you are encouraged. And, yes, the enemy wants to make us feel like we are alone, but in fact, we are never alone. Not only do others understand, the Lord is forever with us. Bless you, dear one!

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