Today’s Truth

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Friend to Friend

You can do this.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded. I know I do. Yesterday was a whopper. I rose early, worked hard, was intentional, and still felt unproductive. Been there? On top of that, we got a heavy heap of unwanted news yesterday afternoon. My dad has an aggressive form of cancer.

I cannot believe I just wrote that last sentence.

He has been through so much. To explain the details would take a whole book. All I can say is that when it comes to the distribution of health challenges, my dad has had an unequally large share.

We found out a week ago that his ear was riddled with the c-stuff and that he would be losing it. But I thought it was just an ear. I thought dad’s biggest challenge following surgery would be figuring out how to hold eyeglasses on his head.

The results of his full body scan indicated otherwise.

The presence of disease is more invasive than what the doctors thought last week, so the ENT that my parents met with yesterday removed himself from the case explaining that the scope of dad’s surgical needs are beyond his abilities. Great. Today they meet with a specialist to see if surgery is even a possibility and to map out a treatment plan.

Far from Pittsburgh my family and I share the pain and pray.

As I pray God changes me.

My heart still aches, but a peace holds me. His peace. Him. Jesus, my Prince of Peace. And as He holds me I remember to exhale. To breathe deeply of His hope.

I remember that our days are known and numbered by a loving God who has a plan for each of us. I remember that I am not alone in this and that my Lord knows the agony of suffering. I remember that though this disease is completely rank, that God is still good and His strength is made perfect in my weakness… that His grace is sufficient.

I can do this. Dad can do this. Mom can do this. We can do this. Not on our own, but with God. And no matter the outcome, life goes on because we know Life. The source of life. The way, and the truth, and the life.

We know Jesus, so everything is possible.

No. This doesn’t change the challenge.

It changes me.

It changes how I will face this challenge. Because if I’m really taking faith seriously. If I am really telling the Lord that I want it all and asking Him to be glorified in my life, then I have to want everything He allows to pass through His hands and into my life.

I have decided.

I’ve drawn a line in the sand of my life.

I want everything He has for me… so that.

So that.

It’s one of my favorite phrases in the Bible. “Do this {instruction/directive}… SO THAT… this {desired outcome/goal}.” It seems that the apostle Paul loved the phrase too because he used it a great deal. Look at a few examples from his letter to the church at Colosse.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, SO THAT we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” (Colossians 4:2-3, emphasis mine)

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, SO THAT you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6, emphasis mine)

Yes. I can do this. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) It’s not just a familiar Bible verse that can be found on a T-shirt, bookmark, or bumper sticker it is a truth that I can cling to. It is a tested truth.

I can do nothing of eternal value without Him, but anything and everything with Him.

You can too.

SO THAT God can show you and your people how awesome He is.

Let’s Pray

Lord, I ask that You would receive the maximum amount of glory in and through my life. Drench me in the power of Your presence and wring me out SO THAT others might be drawn to You. Keep my eyes open to opportunities to build others up in faith and keep my heart firmly rooted in Your love SO THAT I will always be prepared to give an answer for the reason of my Hope.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

What is your SO THAT statement/prayer today? Be specific. Journal about it… or swing by my blog or Facebook page and share it as a comment. {I love to hear from you!}

More from the Girlfriends

We really need to learn to trust God, and that can sometimes be hard. Need help? Order a copy of our GiG book, Trusting God.
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Gwen Smith is a speaker, author, worship leader, and songwriter who wants to help you think big thoughts about God – and inspire you toward His grace and truth. Her website is filled with videos, posts, songs and resources that will be a deep well of encouragement to you. Click here to visit her site. (Get 3 FREE song downloads when you sign up for her blog!)

14 Responses to “You Can Do This”

  1. You’re right you can do this.
    (Been there.)
    God will be right by your side…
    hold on to the precious moments.
    (Lifting you and yours in prayer.)

  2. Charlene says:

    Dear Gwen,

    I am lifting your dad, and all of you, in prayer today.

  3. Sandy says:

    Thank you Gwen for an honest although painful truth. If we want Jesus we have to want it all. That includes the happy joy-filled moments as well as the trials that stretch our resolve and grow our faith. Life happens. And for those of us who know Life, the source of all things, then it doesn’t mean the it will be easy but that we will have hope in the midst of whatever life brings.

  4. Dawn says:

    Gwen…I am lifting your dad and family in prayer today. I pray that the perfect surgeon is found and that his hands are guided by Our Sweet Jesus! I pray courage, strength and hope into your lives. In His Sweet Precious Name I Pray, Amen!!!

  5. Denice says:

    What a nice testimony of your faith in God. Hang in there, sister. You have an army of Christian women behind you and praying for you.

  6. Chris says:

    God has got your father held tightly. Praying for your entire family.

  7. Gina says:

    Gwen, Your devotional today is inspiring to me and glorifying to God. God bless you, your family and your dear father.

  8. Jennifer Gearheart says:

    Praying for your family, Gwen. I lost my Dad in February unexpectedly and I could not get through this grief without God’s comfort and help. Philippians 4:13 is my favorite verse and I have seen it posted everywhere today. I cling to that verse knowing He gives me strength to press on. God is with your Dad and your family.

  9. Jasmine G. says:

    Thanks for sharing! I will keep you & your family in prayer.

    Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

  10. Skye says:

    My father died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. It’s still hard for me to talk about this all these years later, but I find solace in knowing that he found Christ in his last days here on earth. Honestly, I believe that God gave him that time SO THAT he could be saved. His death was the most devastating thing that ever happened to me, but my pain and suffering was essential for me SO THAT I could draw closer to God.

    Thank you so much for sharing your struggle. I’m praying for you and your family.

  11. Rasheeda says:

    Gwen – your strength and faith is encouraging. I am praying for you and your father and the rest of your family. I have been reading this blog for years and feel like an extended family member so I feel the pain you are feeling right now too. Please keep us posted on your father’s condition.

  12. Joy says:

    I am praying for your father and your family. Strength, love, peace & hope!

  13. Kat says:

    Praying for strength, knowledge, answers, and healing for your Dad and your family

  14. virginia says:

    Praying for your dad, mom & you. I understand. Have been there myself.

    Jesus is faithful.

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