TONY ELDER: God strengthens us to accomplish His plan

Tony Elder

Tony Elder

Right foot blue. Left hand green. Left foot red.

No, I’m not describing the appearance of my grandchildren after they’ve been allowed to use paint or markers, although such a portrayal is not out of the realm of possibility. Those aforementioned phrases are actually a few of the instructions which could be given to players in the game of Twister.

I was reminded of that pastime from my youth when I heard that the inventor of Twister died last week.

Do you remember the game? The players had to place their hands and feet on various colored circles on a mat. Sometimes you had to stretch and twist to conform to the instructions. When you had several participants doing so on the same small mat, it might result in some close and awkward encounters, possibly even one player falling down on top of another.

Sometimes life can resemble a game of Twister. We can feel like human pretzels as we get pulled in different directions. We stretch as far as we can and precariously balance ourselves on the tips of our fingers or toes. We try to keep from falling, knowing how such a setback will not only affect us, but how it might drag down the people around us.

In some cases it might be the desire to meet the unrealistic expectations of society, friends, or ourselves that get us so tied up in knots.

Sometimes it may be our unwillingness to say “no” to someone or to an opportunity.

It might even be that we find ourselves being stretched to our limits as we seek to follow what we believe to be God’s will for our lives. As we hear some of His commands, they may seem almost impossible for us to attain or to live up to.

Concerning that last situation, we ought to remember that the Lord will enable us to do whatever it is He calls us to do. He won’t tell us to put our left foot on the red circle if we’re unable to reach it.

He doesn’t ask us to do the impossible in order to watch us fall as we attempt to do so. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:24).

That doesn’t mean the Lord won’t call us to do some difficult things. It doesn’t mean He won’t stretch us. Neither does it mean that what He asks us to do might not seem virtually impossible to us, and may even be something we cannot do in our own strength and ability.

But no matter how hard or impossible a task may appear, if God is telling us to do it, we can rely on His power to help us fulfill His calling. The Apostle Paul testified, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (I Timothy 1:12).

We can depend on the same God to enable us.

It’s also helpful to remember that our Lord isn’t just standing off to the side, twirling a spinner and calling out arbitrary instructions to us. He’s actually right there in the game with us, upholding us and strengthening us so we can do whatever He calls us to do. When He tells us to step here or to put our hand to a particular task, we know He is with us to empower us to follow through.

So whenever you’re feeling all “twisted,” make sure what God’s calling you to do and then trust Him to enable you to do it.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at revtelder@aol.com.