In this day and age when the word “challenged” has been tacked on to everything someone struggles with, I kind of have to laugh. While my hope is often challenged, I do not have a deficit of hope, as the term “hope-challenged” seems to imply. However, all my friends will testify that I am definitely math-challenged.
I don’t know about you but sometimes numbers just plain throw me into panic. I am truly thankful for Excel spreadsheets and calculators. However, even with them, I sometimes get two different answers every time I try to figure something out. I have no idea why math serves as such a terror trigger for me. Maybe it’s because of the arguments over money when I was growing up, or a children’s song that I used to listen to repeatedly, “I can’t do the sum.” Taken from the 1961 Disney movie, “Babes in Toyland,” the song ends with the words,
“Am I doing right or wrong? My heart feels so numb.
No use trying any more, I can’t do the sum.”
It’s amazing how more than 50 years later, those words hit me, and hit me hard, particularly here in Israel. How many times have I had the right to a refund and given up on it. It was just too hard to figure out the Hebrew, the rules, and the math! Recently the phone company overcharged me, I calculated something incorrectly, and then I realized, oh yeah—it’s time to start figuring out my taxes for this year.
Times like this I am so very thankful for the powerful truth of scripture—a strong anchor that applies to all of life.
I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.
It’s about time I submit those defeating thoughts of childhood to the power of God. I can do ALL things is a powerful statement. And the wonderful part is that in context, Paul was talking about living with an abundance or lack of supply. Jesus is more than enough for all my needs—including my terribly math-challenged thinking. Yes, thinking. I got an A in trigonometry in college. I’ve figured out complex calculations regarding word counts for user manuals. What was I thinking—just because the numbers have to do with math, bills in Hebrew, or taxes—God cannot help me? Heresy!
I don’t know what your struggle is. But perhaps you too have been feeling like you just can’t get it, whether it’s a sum, drawing a straight line, passing a dreaded exam, or just plain getting through the day. I have absolutely no doubt that our God is strong enough for you and for me. We are in this together. Let’s give it to Him now.
Our Wonderful Heavenly Father, thank you that your promises are just as true today as they were when you first made them. With my friends, I give you this lie that I cannot deal with math, along with the lies my friends are struggling with. Thank you that You are the one who strengthens us and enables us for all You have set before us. One of those things is to live in this world, and part of living includes dealing with the things we are struggling with now. We give this to you and ask for the opportunity to give the glory to You as we experience new victory in this part of our lives.
In the name of Jesus our Lord, Savior, and Friend—Amen