Thursday, August 13, 2015

Can I really?

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13


Lately, God has been teaching me a lot about trusting Him for strength. In June of this year I signed up for the National Bible Bee. Although I’ve competed for the past three years, I’ve never made it beyond the state level. This year I was hoping to make it to nationals – but I felt so out of focus. I lacked concentration when I studied, and I was soooo busy,
Then July came. Four of my siblings and I were supposed to volunteer at a summer camp. I was super excited about the trip when, the night before we were scheduled to leave, I got really sick. I had really, really wanted to go and I felt like God had let me down… I prayed and prayed that I would wake up the next morning and be well enough to go, but it just didn’t happen. Instead, I spent the next week in bed.
That morning as my siblings pulled out of the driveway without me, my sister leaned out the window and said, “Beth, maybe God is keeping you home from camp because you need the time to study; you’ll probably make it to Nationals!” I shook my head and thought, “No way am I going to make it… I’m only a few weeks away from my test and nowhere near ready.
Time flew and before I knew it, the test day was only a week away. I felt so unprepared, I almost gave up altogether; but a dear friend of mine talked to me into persevering. She told me I had committed to compete and I shouldn’t’ be a quitter. I knew she was right.
During the last seven days of study, I began to pray. I prayed really hard that God would show me exactly what to study in the little time I had left. When testing day arrived, I felt completely at peace. I wasn’t nervous at all, even though I had not completed all of the study I had wanted to get done.


I had a lot of people praying for me that day. As I took the test, God brought all the things He had been teaching me to mind. As I clicked the “finish” button on my test,  I somehow felt like it had gone really well. In fact, I even dared to hope that maybe I had a shot at getting to nationals after all.
A week later I went to the Bible Bee awards ceremony to receive my score. I had been praying all week that God would help me to be content with where he had placed me – whether I got to go to Nationals or not. As the host read off the scores I waited for my placing fully expecting that I either wouldn’t make it all, or that if I did I would be #120 (the lowest position which can qualify). Then they said my name, followed by “you placed #88 in the nation.”


Here I was, ready to give up altogether, discouraged because I had missed camp…shaking my head in disbelief when my sister had suggested that maybe God was keeping me home so I could study… and now I was on my way to nationals!
I wasn’t ready when testing day came along, but God showed me that He can take my weaknesses and use His strength to show himself strong. As Christians when we are facing an “impossible” task, we don’t need to fear because we serve a God who does the “impossible” all the time.
“For we know that with men this is impossible. But with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
A huge thank you to my dear friend, Bethany Stelzl, for sharing with us. :) I am so excited that we made it to Nationals together...I can't wait to compete with you in November! :D Bethany occasionally blogs over at 1 Love for Christ. 
Photo Credit: Flickr

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing, Bethany! Congratulations on qualifying for Nationals! Looking forward to meeting you there! :)


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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:17 (NIV)