“I Can’t!”

The Lord Jesus led me to read Psalm 1 (vv. 1-3 ESV).

When I was a child, I had few people, if any, to encourage me that I could do anything other than maybe sing. I was the middle child of five children in my family. And, I had a father who didn’t think much of my intellectual abilities. He even told me one day, when I was an adult, that he could probably find something to talk with me about, even though “you are not as intelligent as my other children,” he said. I chuckle at that now.

I had little confidence in my scholastic abilities, though early on I seemed to do well in math and English, until English became more about reading and reading comprehension than it was about grammar and spelling. I was a slow reader. In fact, I started my first year of college reading on a 4th grade level. I just didn’t have much confidence that I could learn much at all, and I was especially horrible in social studies and science. So, I wasn’t particularly motivated to excel in school, and so I graduated high school in 1968 with a 1.4/4.0 GPA. After that, I completed 4 years of college in 1972 with a 2.5/4.0 GPA, but I never graduated from college.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

Fast forward… Now I was 52 years old (in 2002), and I decided to go back to school at our local 2-year technical college. I was not even sure if I could pass the entrance exam, but I did, and with flying colors, at that. That was a God thing, for sure!

So, I began with taking just one class, “Accounting,” to see how I would do. But, with each homework assignment I found that I said to myself, “I can’t do this.” I had convinced myself that I just could not learn. But God said, “Here, I will walk with you, and you’ll do fine.” He is so amazing!

So, I stayed the course, and I got an A in the class, by the grace of God. Then, after 4 years of taking classes at this school, maybe 2 or 3 classes a semester, I ended up with a 4.0/4.0 GPA, all glory to God. I received an Entrepreneur Certificate, just a few classes shy of a 2-year degree. But, that was my goal, so I was good with just that.

Some people encouraged me to continue taking classes in order to get a college degree, but the Lord encouraged me that I wasn’t there to get a college degree, but to learn that I could learn, and it was because he had an assignment for me, which I was to learn about a few years later.

So, what does this have to do with not walking in the counsel of the wicked and delighting myself in the Word of the Lord? I finally stopped listening to my dad who had told me, in essence, that I was incapable of producing anything which he might regard as intelligent, and so he devalued me. I finally listened to the Lord in that respect, and believed that God could do the impossible in my life, and that I could learn. So, why should this matter?

It is because God had a plan for my life of which I wasn’t even aware until two years later, in 2004. And, he needed to convince me that I could learn anything he wanted me to learn if I just trusted in him, and in what he said, and if I relied on his power and strength, and not on my own, which wasn’t much. So, I found my delight in the truths of God’s Word and I no longer accepted the idea that I could not learn things I felt were too hard for me.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

At some point in my life, I’m not exactly sure when, the Lord Jesus used the call of Jeremiah to place a similar call on my life. I think this took place in the late 1970s. I make no claims to being a prophet, though, but only that I am the Lord’s servant, and that I am here on this earth to do whatever it is that he has called me to do. I knew then that he was calling me to go to whomever he would send me and to say whatever he commanded me to say, and that I was not to be afraid of them.

I, like Jeremiah, didn’t think I qualified for such a task, not that God was not capable of performing miracles in my life, but that I had so many people throughout my life, beyond just my dad, some of whom were pastors, who only solidified in my mind that I wasn’t worth much, that I had little value, and that what I had to say was not really important, or that I should not speak at all, because I was too young, or because I was a woman, or whatever. So, there were times in my life when I questioned that calling on my life. But, God’s answer back to me was the story of the woman who washed his feet with her tears (Lu. 7:36-48). I, too, was that woman.

So, in order to prepare me for this present calling of God on my life, “for such a time as this,” my Lord took me through many years of adversity, suffering, rejection and persecution, much of it at the hands of those who were supposed to be my spiritual leaders. This was so that, when God said, “Write what I tell you, and place it on the internet,” I obeyed, but not because I thought I could do it. I knew I couldn’t. I still know I can’t in my own strength, wisdom or power, but I can in the power and strength of the Lord, and in his wisdom and understanding.

The reason that I needed to learn that I could learn, though, was that God had planned for me that he was going to teach me so much way beyond my natural ability to learn. Since I accepted this present call on my life in 2004, the Lord has shown me so many amazing things, but not just from his Word. He has opened my eyes to see so much of what is going on in our world at this present time, and how that fits with prophecy of scripture regarding these last days, though I make no claims to perfect understanding. And, this was so that I could be used of God to help open the eyes, not just of the spiritually blind, but of those who had been deceived by master manipulators and clever enchanters who are still leading God’s people astray.

So, if you are where I was, and you are listening to the voices of other people telling you that “you can’t,” and so you convince yourself that God can’t use you in ways you thought not possible, then stop listening to those voices inside your head, and listen to God’s voice speaking his truths into your heart and mind, and then obey him and do what he has called you to do, for his purposes and for his glory, and in his power and strength.

Our God / Chris Tomlin / Jesse Reeves
Jonas Myrin / Matt Redman

Our God is greater; our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 10:47 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for placing this song in my mind, and for teaching me what you wanted me to learn this evening through your Word. I thank you, and I praise you!

8 thoughts on ““I Can’t!”

  1. Sue, I can certainly vouch for the truth of what you have said in this post. I remember you back then, remember the whole story, and have seen how God took someone who was a nobody, a throwaway to many leaders, and poured his beautiful Spirit into you and took you far beyond what either of us might have ever imagined. As you said, it was all God, and still is, and always will be for you. One reason I want more of him is because I see who he is through your life lived by faith, day after day, and the miracles he’s performed in so many ways to enable you to do so many things and to love so many whether they love you back or comprehend the cost of that love at times. I am blessed beyond words to have you as my wife and look forward to growing with you for many years to come if the Lord tarries. Love, Rick

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rick, Thank you! That means a lot to me that you said what you did here. I appreciate it more than words can say. You, of all people, should know my heart. You have watched my life, seen what God has taken me through, and seen how he brought beauty out of ashes, all for his purposes and for his glory. Amen!

      Love you! Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I know your heart and have watched your life almost half a century. You always loved the Lord and put your trust in him, even in the toughest times. I know how God has changed you and given you a heart of love for others like I’ve rarely seen anywhere else. And you always give the glory to God, for you understand all too well what we all are apart from his love and grace in our lives. Thanks for being such a brightly-shining light for the Lord to me and to others all these years, and not for any selfish rewards (for often you got the opposite), but because you chose to do whatever God asked of you no matter what the cost. And indeed the beauty he brought in your life and through it is beyond words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • T. R. – Thank you! I really, really appreciate your comment, too. 🙂 Thank you for these encouraging, thoughtful and kind words. You cheered my heart! All praise to God!! Thank you, Jesus!! Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Sue, I read this post previously but I read it again. It is amazing how your life and mine, especially in our younger years, are similar. I too fell behind in my early school years and it was only when one teacher in grade 5 took an interest in me that I became aware that I too could excel. And it was my studies in the scriptures in my early twenties that taught me about comprehension and detail. I usually kept silent about what I hoped to achieve, especially in military leadership courses and technical qualifications but ended up getting A’s. I was adopted by a family where my father was generally silent and my mother took corporal punishment to a whole new level. And it’s amazing what God can do with the little we give Him to work with, even now. After all of these years I am amazed that I have only scratched the surface to the wisdom and love of God. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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