I cannot do it. But God can…


Daniel 2:26 The king said to Daniel… “Are you able to tell me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners can show to the king the mystery that the king is asking, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has disclosed to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen at the end of days.

I love Daniel’s humility in this passage. He is asked to do something impossible – to tell the Babylonian king both what his recurring dream is and what the dream means. The king had already asked his own diviners who were stumped. Daniel admits that he cannot do what the king asks, but that God in heaven can do it.

I’m reading a business leadership book right which was written by a former mentor of mine. I’ll admit it’s been a while since I’ve read a secular leadership book. It’s not that I think I have nothing to learn from such books, but there’s a common dynamic that tends to grate on me.

Much secular leadership literature suggests the answer to life’s challenges lies… within oneself.

Something about this paradigm bothers me. Why? Leadership is hard as you probably know. And when I face particularly difficult challenges I often have to face a stark reality. I cannot do it. The challenges are often beyond my abilities, capacities, know-how. Were I to lean inward for solutions I would be ground to dust! Yet I find it’s when I reach that point, when I’m facing failure square in the face, that God steps in to give the wisdom and stamina needed to carry on. Over and over again I find seven simple words unlock the impossible:

“I cannot do it, but God can.”

Lord God in heaven, thank you for the grace you pour out when we reach the end of our capacity. Strengthen your servants to accomplish what appears impossible on our own. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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