Uphill Battles

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

2 Corinthians 12:9


Do you remember “The Little Engine That Could”? A small train breaks down while taking a load of toys over a mountain to children in the valley. He asks several trains to help him, but no one agrees. They are too busy, too tired, or too important to help. 


Finally, a little blue steam engine comes along. He hooks himself up to the train loaded with toys and starts up the mountain. He strains and pulls, moving little by little up the slope. Do you remember what he repeats to himself as he struggles up that formidable hill?

“I think I can, I think I can.”  He repeats it until he finally makes it over the mountain and saves the day!

That phrase, “I think I can,” has become a part of the American culture.  The story of the little engine makes us feel good in a society inundated with the “power of positive thinking.”


But have you ever said, “I can’t”? Ever felt like you couldn’t win that uphill battle, no matter how much you tried?


There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking. The Bible teaches us to focus on:

“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Philippians 4:8)

But our problems don’t just disappear with the simple repetition of a few healthy words. We deal with illness, gossip, rebellious children, bad relationships, infidelity, addictions, and more. Fighting most uphill battles takes more than we can give on our own. We have to say, “I can’t” and say, He can instead.


HE CAN. Two small words that hold unsearchable power. When we accept our inability to do everything on our own, we can take hold of that power. But we have to admit our weakness; fall on our knees and confess it. And we have to relinquish control. Control over our spouse, children, friends, job. Instead of saying, “I can fix it” or “I can change things,” we muster enough strength to say, HE CAN.


Dependence and trust are the key ingredients to living a "HE CAN" life. When we submit to His strength, the Lord accomplishes greater things than we could do on our own.

What areas of your life could use a HE CAN focus?