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Last week I got the opportunity to sit down with a dear friend who has been struggling. They were recently transitioned to a new role at work and had to take a pay cut. They also lost a loved one to a tragic car accident. On top of those things, home life is not going very well as his wife is talking about separation.

As I sat across from him, my heart broke as I connected to his brokenness. He told me that he has been journaling the last few weeks trying to run to his Heavenly Father for strength during these hard days. He talked about mistakes he had made. He shared his own failures and shortcomings.  I asked him specifically what he’s been writing, and he pulled out his notebook and slid it in front of me.

This is not a direct copy, but the essence of his words written in blue pen on a college ruled notebook. A list emerged on the page, followed by a powerful statement that encouraged me. This is what it said.

“Lord, I need you…

As I wrestle with the uncertainty of my life, the only thing I can hold onto is you.

  • I can’t be strong.
  • I can’t be good enough.
  • I can’t lead.
  • I can’t do my job right.
  • I can’t seem to find motivation.
  • I can’t be a good dad.
  • I can’t be a good husband.
  • I can’t be a good person.
  • I can’t…

But You can! Help me, Father. (Pro 24:16)”

As I read this, I was reminded of how many times I have failed myself. In my own strength, I will never be the man God wants me to be.

How many times I have felt like “I can’t”? When we feel like we can’t, we must rely on the one who CAN.

This is what my friend wrote down in his journal and what I was encouraged to remember that day. The reality is that every day is an opportunity to rely on the one who CAN. We were never meant to try and do this thing called life alone, we must wake each day relying on our Father to lead us and we trust His plans are better than ours.

As my time ended with my friend, I asked him what Proverbs 24:16 says as he had written it at the end of that page. He said,“Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up…”

His journey continues and so does mine, but what do we do when we fall down? We get back up.

Bobby Cooley
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