This weekend we were fortunate enough to go skiing. We went skiing where back in 2001 I had to be medevaced off the ski hill after I went down a hill and head first into a dry creek bed bottom. I was blessed and thankful that a concussion was the only injury I incurred that day. It could have been much worse.
It was hard not to reflect on the details of that day almost over 12 years ago as I skied past the scene of the accident repeatedly. I had gone up to the ski hill for my first time skiing that year. After about 10 or 15 minutes on the bunny slope, Carl determined that I was probably ready for a green run. I am not blaming him, but I really was not ready. I did not know how to stop, how to fall, how to turn, etc. I did several runs all with great fear and trembling. Carl and I rode the chair lift up together, and I told him how scared I was. He was wonderful enough to encourage me and said, "You can do this. You just have to believe that you can ski."
I got off the chair lift encouraged that he believed in me, and if he believed in me, then maybe I should believe in myself. At the end of the run as we approached the lodge, Carl took the higher steeper run to the chair lift. I had been taken the easier lower road, but in my new found courage and with his encouraging words, I decided to take the higher road. However, since it was spring skiing conditions, they had put up one of those orange mesh barriers right in my path.
I remember seeing the barrier and the only way down to the lodge was a very steep incline. It would have been good to know that I could have taken off my skis and walked down in my boots. I didn't know you could do that so the only option I knew of was to ski down. So, with the words "you can ski" in my head, I bravely headed down the hill. The rest of the story I have to tell from Carl's perspective, because I don't remember the accident itself. I gained speed, hit some moguls, lost control, and came down full force on my head in a dry creek bed. I lost consciousness, got medevaced by helicopter, and left the hospital that night with a concussion.
I couldn't help but think about the words, "I can ski", while I was at the ski hill this weekend. How wrong I had been at the time! I didn't know anything about skiing. I didn't even really know the basics. I didn't know how to turn, stop, or even how to take off my skis by myself. I couldn't help but relate it to the Christian walk.
How many times do we as Christians think that we can do something on our own without the knowledge, the blessing, or the strength of God. We make plans and want to walk down our own path on our own strength with our own wisdom. All too often we fall head first into failure.
Philippians 4:13 (NIV) says, "I can do all things through Christ we strengthens me." It doesn't say I can do all things through me. It says I can do all things through Christ and His strength and His wisdom and His knowledge. In one of the books I am reading now called Experiencing God by Blackaby and King, the author likens it to a yoke which is being pulled by two oxen. If I am the only ox, the chore would be too hard and exhausting, but God comes along side and bears the burden with me. He is with me every step of the way if I am walking along the path He has for me. If I try to take my own path, I might fall face first.
In Beth Moore's book Believing God, she says we should believe the following:
God is who He says He is
God can do what He says He can do
I am who God says I am
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
God's word is alive and active in me
We could do great things as Christians for the kingdom of God if we would just allow God to use us or even if we could believe that God could use us to do amazing things for His glory. I might not be able to do it in my own strength or my own wisdom, but I can if God wills it for me. He is a God who can do the impossible. He is a God who can make beautiful pottery out of this lump of clay. How powerful is that!