You Don’t Have What it Takes…


It happens in the wee hours of the morning, long before dawn’s early light, you stir in your sleep, crack open an eye, and tilt your head toward the bedside table. Your one open eye catches the red glint of the alarm clock’s light…3:30. All you hear is thick silence, the only sound is the rumbling of your spouses breathing in the deepness of sleep. You begin to doze off again. The thick silence is obliterated by a piercing scream. You sit up, heart pounding, in your frustration an inaudible curse word finds it way past your lips and dribbles down your chin, and you mutter a halfhearted “Forgive me Lord…” You pick up the baby for the fourth time in 2 hours. Work comes soon, your wife is exhausted, and the only thing you can think is, “Why is it my turn?”

And the thought enters your head that you don’t have what it takes…

angry dadA couple hours later, it is 530am and your 4 year old is bouncing around the house looking for chocolate chips to eat for breakfast, and trying to stick her dirty fingers in the baby’s mouth, and you look up momentarily from updating your Facebook status (something about how caffeine will be your best friend today), and bark at her, “Don’t touch the baby with your dirty fingers! Stop bouncing! Sit down!!!! AND NO CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST! STOP IT!!!

And the thought enters your head that you don’t have what it takes…

It’s 730 and you are at work. After an hour long commute in the rain and traffic (with people driving too slow in the fast lane, and too fast in the slow lane, not to mention hitting every red light) and after 3 cups of coffee, everything is just…ugh. You can’t tell if you need a nap, or a coffee, or a water and if you still smoked you would walk out into the torrential downpour and light up. But it’s been 5 years, and you don’t want to give in to that habit, so you indulge in your other one, “2 cream 2 sugar.” The weariness overwhelms you and the realization sets in that there is only 17 years 50 weeks and 3 days left in your baby’s childhood…

And the thought enters your head that you don’t have what it takes…

On your coffee break you read an article online about how, “It’s ok parent! You are doing great! Just hang in there!” And another curse word enters your brain threatening to dribble down your chin…and you quickly kill it with another little prayer.

You don’t feel like everything is going to be ok.

You don’t feel like you are doing great.

You just swore at the computer!

You cursed under your breath at your child wanting to be held in the middle of the night.

You lost your temper at your 4 year old.

You kicked the neighbours cat! At least, you did in your thoughts…

You just want to go to sleep and you are not feeling like a very good parent, you are not feeling like a very good Christian, in fact you are not feeling much of anything.

And the thought enters your mind that you don’t have what it takes.

The words of Jesus, in Matthew 15:18-20, echo in your mind,

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.”

So in the wee hours of the morning, after little sleep, when all the patience is gone, and the baby cries for the 5th time, when that curse word escapes your lips, it is then that we see what our hearts are truly made of. And we wonder why this is. How come we still display the old nature? I thought we were saved to a new life! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

But as we look at ourselves, maybe we don’t see this happening, perhaps it is going too slowly, and we grow more depressed and we grumble. And we think that we don’t have what it takes. And it is here, as we are tested – and fail – that we see that we need Jesus more than ever.

But it’s ok! You are doing great!



I won’t coddle you with those words, like those other bloggers will. You probably are not doing so great…but… everything will be ok. That is, everything will be ok if you look to Jesus. Don’t get caught up in your failures. Stop looking at yourself.  I am not saying brush your sins off. Admit your sins. Call them out by name. Claim them as your own, confess them, and then stop looking at yourself and look to Jesus instead. Wage war on your sin in the strength that he provides. He gets it. He knows what it is like to be tempted to swear at those who deprive him of sleep, he knows what it is like to be tempted and tested beyond the abilities of our physical bodies – and he didn’t give in. He didn’t fail.

And the thought enters your head that you don’t have what it takes…

My friend JS Park puts it so eloquently, “The devil will often make you doubt that “you don’t have what it takes” — when really, you don’t ever have it. God has you. True assurance in our walk is knowing the object of our faith, not our degree of it.”  Do you see? So look to Jesus as the object of your strength and faith. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work and bring you to a greater measure of holiness. Be quick to kill those nasty thoughts and dribbling curse words. Obey his precepts. Pray. And when you fail, because you will fail, remember to look to Jesus. You don’t have what it takes, embrace it, and look to Jesus. Because Jesus has what it takes.  In Him everything will be OK.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

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  1. Anna says:

    As the mother of a very new baby, I loved this. Well said.