Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
As a Christian many times I’ve quoted Philippians 4:13 when the going gets tough. The verse is many times used to state that you are relying on super-natural strength for the journey, and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when you’re reminded of what Scripture says and you feel like you’ve just had ten energy drinks. You feel invigorated, strengthened, or perhaps just caffeinated, it all depends on the effect is has on you.
Yet sometimes we forget what follows verse 13. It’s easy to just pump our fists in the air at the problem we’re facing and declare with all of our might that we can do ALL THINGS, but what if we feel like we can’t? What if we feel like the rough path is just too difficult to walk through without another ‘human-being’ to walk beside us? I know some people might be ready to leave this site, shaking their heads at my audacity to voice such a thought, but I ask that you take the time to hear me out (or read it through).
Paul wrote Philippians while in prison, and although he made that wonderful declaration of how he was able to do it all through Him who gave him strength, he also stated this:
Philippians 4:14, “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”
As I read that today I had to let it sink in a bit. Why? Because I seem to share in the troubles of others quite often, and I’ve realized that sometimes quoting Philippians 4:13 might not be what others need at the moment. Does that mean that I’m taking away weight from verse 13? NOT AT ALL! Yet Paul acknowledged that even though he could do ALL things through He who gave him strength, it felt good to have someone share the rough path with him.
So my challenge to you today is this. Do you know someone walking through a rough path in life? I’m sure we can all picture one or two of these people at this moment. Why don’t you make the time to just share in their troubles. Whether it be listening to them, praying for them, having coffee with them, finding a good book for them, however sharing with them looks like, try not to fix their troubles for them, just share with them.
In the end, we know that God is the one who gives us strength, but maybe in being there for someone, when it’s our turn to navigate our rough path, someone will share the journey with us. I don’t know about you, but I want to sow that kind of seed, and be someone’s strength through the rough path. How about you?