“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” (Eleanor Roosevelt) This statement is proven true, not because of our own talents and strength but because God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”
(2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12)
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.
He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed preacher and Apostle and teacher. On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
Sooner or later you will hit a wall – Hard!!!! You’ll feel like Job crying out to God in your affliction. Maybe you will even go to church some weekend wondering how to get through the next day let alone the next months and years.
However, if you can believe that “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control,” there will be a crack of light in your darkness because you are never alone. You already possess the power to face down your wall. Remember, St. Paul wrote this ode to faith while he was in prison.
Surely this “power” is not power as Wall Street might define it but rather the power to believe that God accompanies us on our journey, especially when it is hardest. It is the power to overcome our doubts and fears and selfishness and to reach out to others in love.
How interesting that Paul links “self control” and “love.” Is he telling us that love involves controlling our passions to give of ourselves to others? Any parent knows how essential such disciplined love is and how much it can cost. And you, my dear friends, will find living such disciplined love to be a challenge, but the rewards will bring you lasting joy and peace. “Not as the world gives, do I give it to you.” (John 14:27)