I can’t do this

I cannot do all things

Neither can you.

A mantra for Christian athletes, a popular plaque on the wall or the perfect verse for a tattoo, I can do all things. No, I do not have a tattoo, but can I do all things? No, I cannot do all things.

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” NKJV

In junior high it applied to cheerleader tryouts. I can do all things. As a college student I used it before biochemistry tests. I can do all things. In residency it helped me through the first…Cesarean section, hysterectomy, delivery going bad… I can do all things.

However, I doubt Paul’s intention was to get Jesus to help us meet the goals we set for ourselves. Besides, I can’t really do all things. I can’t win the state gymnastics championship like my daughter and I can’t pole vault nearly 16 foot like my son. For crying out loud some days I can’t even stir a cake mix. No, I cannot do all things and Christ doesn’t always strengthen my muscles.

But He does give me exactly the strength I need.

Because He gives me strength, I can do a disabling illness

The seven hour infusion I get every three weeks causes headaches and fatigue. For a couple of days, I feel like I’ve just done an Ironman. Okay, I really don’t know what that feels like, but I can imagine. After the ice pick to my temple resolves, I get a couple of good weeks where I can visit the gym if I can remember my member number because they no longer recognize my face at the desk. Yeah I can do that.

Because He gives me strength, I can survive divorce

I never doubted we would grow old together after all we’ve been through. But my left hand is glaringly bare. Good grief, there’s been a ring on that finger since I got a promise ring in 1980. I’m learning to find happiness and identity in being single for the first time in my adult life. Through Christ, and only through Christ, I can do that too.

Because He gives me strength, I can handle the C word

We got bad news this week. My dad’s cancer is worse than we thought, a lot worse. Facing radical surgery and uncertainty, he went to the golf course. Not a bad idea. We should all do that.

We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future #faith #trust Click To Tweet
Because He gives me strength, I can face tomorrow

I’m going to be real honest, I’m pretty worn down right now. There’s a lot on my shoulders and those I normally lean on need to lean on me and I’m barely vertical. That’s why I’m depending on His strength not mine. The same strength is available to you, so what can you do?

Philippians 4:13-14, “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me – it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.” MSG

Many of you have asked what you can do. This verse says it all,

Come alongside me in my troubles

A casserole doesn’t fix this

I appreciate your prayers, but I need more

Just be there

That’s all I ask

I can do it

Through Christ

He gives me strength

Because I can’t do this, but He can

Maybe I’ll get the tattoo after all. Just kidding. Thanks for sharing my journey. Bring your friends along too, it means more than you know.



It's more fun when you join the conversation

  1. You’re amazing Vickie! You remind me of “the little engine that could” …. powered by the Holy Spirit. Keep climbing that big mountain! You’re going to make it. So proud of you.

  2. I so needed to read this message this morning. Thank you for your posts, and your honesty in showing your own frailness. It reminds me it’s ok for me to say I can’t do it all and i need help…from my god who strengthens me and from my friends and family.

  3. My favorite verse! Love your strength and perseverance for which there will be a great reward. Continued prayers for you and your family!

  4. (Psalm 139) A reminder that God will guide you through both light and darkness. He is with you, continue to draw from His strength. Thanks for these words today, Vickie!

  5. Life in this fallen world sure can be tough! Sorry you are facing more difficulties.
    When my left hand was bare, I bought a beautiful birthstone ring! We were individuals before we were married and still are. Now I have a beautiful ring and I want it to remind me to “shine” for Jesus. Oh boy I need that reminder! Thank you for sharing your heart! Your heart is beautiful and shining!!!

  6. I talked to your Mom earlier and we will be up there on Wed for post surgery checkup. We will go by afterwards to see them. Many, many prayers for all of you.

  7. We never know what road our journey will take us down . We never know what are burdens will be, how heavy, or how light. One thing we do know, God is always there, we just have to approach his thrown and ask that he give us the strength we need to approach these burdens head on and give us mercy and grace to endure. Praying for strength, wisdom and the healing touch only God can provide.

  8. I’m so sorry about all these things, especially that they are happening at the same time. Each one would be difficult alone and heaped up together could seem overwhelming. However, many are praying for you, including me, and I am certain that Jesus will walk with you every step of the way. He has some good plans for you, my little sparkling friend. (I like that idea of a birthstone or some other sort of ring.)

  9. You really are an inspiration to me. I love reading your posts, and they help me realize that I can survive my problems. Thank you!

  10. My sweet grown up Vickie, I love you and my heart hurts for you. I am a believer in leaning and depending on my Jesus. You and I know he is the ONE!! Really appreciated you opening your heart with your life changing thoughts.

  11. You inspire me to stay close to God’s word and His promises. It breaks my heart to know you have so many trials at this time. A lot has happened since I got to know you last September. My prayers are with you and I know God is using you in a mighty way through this honest and heartfelt blog! You make us all want to keep running the race!

    • Thank you, your prayers and support mean so much to me. Actually a lot was already happening when you got to know me, I just hid it well. But God is truly faithful and I promise to use it all for ministering to others who are hurting

  12. I’m thinking you and Job have a little in common. So good to know his story and yours are guided by the same wonderful God even when it doesn’t feel very wonderful in the midst of trials. Prayers and hugs as always!

  13. Vickie, you always inspire me even when you are struggling. I know God is using all of your trials and troubles to grow your ministry and I am so thankful that you are a willing vessel to be used in such a helpful way to all of us. We all face our own set of troubles and to have someone open up and be honest about the struggles, lets us know we are not alone, but that we all serve a big God is is more than able to see us through.
    I am so sorry about Mr. Petz cancer diagnosis and pray that God would guide the doctors and medical team as they treat him. Take care and keep me posted on his progress. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do for you. I love you dear friend and am so thankful for your friendship.

  14. Vickie, I’m sorry to hear of your divorce And the cancer your dad is facing. I’m sure the weight of pain, sorrow, vulnerability, fear, loneliness, sadness etc… is compounded for you right now. I found comfort in reading Isaiah and Psalms and Proverbs over and over during my divorce. “You keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (Is 26: 3-4, NIV84). I desperately needed His “perfect peace”. God is so good-that is exactly what He gave me!! May you and your whole family feel Jesus’s loving arms holding you!! Thank you for your thoughtful posts, in spite of your trials. Actually that’s why your blog is so poignant, because Jesus does equip you. All the best to you!

  15. Dr. Henderson, I’ve always thought my dad was the strongest person I knew. I have come to know, it is you. I am overwhelmed by your strength and your attitude, which is continuously positive. God bless you. I truly admire your courage, your testimony and your smile. (I could go on and on, but you understand how amazing I think you are)!