The Meaning We Often Miss in Philippians 4:13
I’ve always scoffed when people quoted Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” it reads. It’s often taken to be this anthem of “I CAN DO EVERYTHING” and “I AM INVINCIBLE” and so on… and I’m not really a fan of that. I think we take that verse and polish it up with red, white, and blue, and make it sound a lot like the American dream. We tell ourselves if we believe in God, he will make everything happen for us– we can do everything with him on our sides, right?!
Yes, but also, no.
This verse is one I’ve been wrestling with in this season of life, a season where I’ve been made even more aware of my weakness, my brokenness, and my sin thanks to weekly counseling sessions. I sit on that couch for an hour and realize just how messy I’ve made things in my life, almost always because of things I tried to control or do on my own strength.
I’m very aware of my weakness. I’m very aware of my shortcomings, my bad habits, my sin patterns, and all the ways I run away from the Lord and rebel.
And yet, I’m learning about what it means that Christ gives me his strength in exchange for my weakness. I’m learning about what it looks like to co-work with Christ on the things he is calling me to. I’m learning to release my grip of all those things I want so desperately to control, and I’m learning about the truly beautiful blessing that surrender is.
And I’m also learning that just because Christ is on my side does not mean everything will suddenly be sunshine and rainbows.