“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
In the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could,” the Little Blue Engine used positive self-talk to achieve the seemingly impossible task of pulling the train full of toys to the top of the mountain and down the grade to the city below. Merely thinking about the possibility of success was not quite enough as she huffed and puffed: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” ¹ It was only when those spoken words were truly believed that the little engine chugged “faster and faster,” reaching the top of the mountain. The belief was uttered in a new phrase on the decline down the mountain to the city: “I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.” ¹
Sometimes, our life circumstances make our daily walk a difficult uphill climb, “chugging” and “puffing” as we struggle to keep ourselves going. Our self-talk during these times is critical. These internal words can defeat us, delay us, or inspire us. This self-talk is also God-talk as He hears everything we think. There is no alone time. God is ever-present.
If we change our self-talk to “I think I can- with God’s help,” then we are closer to reaching the top of the mountain we need to climb– to reach a goal, endure a crisis, survive the work week, pay the bills, overcome a loss, see a way to keep going. To truly attain these things, however, our self-wording must be one of firm belief and action based on that faith: “I know I can-with God’s help” and “I thought I could-with God’s help.”
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
(6) “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (7) That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (8) Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:6-8)
With God as our Engineer, steering the course of our lives, we can know and believe with assurance that we will be able to “finish the race” and reach the “prize” waiting for us over the mountain in the City below: (13) Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Let us press onward like Paul, trust fully in the Lord, and commit to the ultimate goal of heaven.
“I didn’t come this far, to come this far.” ²
There is a view on the other side of the mountain
To behold— the City where I will reside.
¹Watty Piper’s 1930 “The Little Engine that Could.” http://www.printmag.com
(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/21/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word