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  • Writer's picturePastor John Anderson

Doing What We Can

"She hath done what she could..."- Mark 14:8

In Elmer Bendiner's book, The Fall of Fortresses, he describes one bombing run over the German city of Kassel:

Our B-17 (THE TONDELAYO) was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit. Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a twenty-millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple. On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but eleven had been found in the gas tanks--eleven unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us.

Even after thirty-five years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn. He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them. One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually, they found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. Translated, the note read: "This is all we can do for you now."

In Mark 14, Mary was not praised by Jesus because she did something that she could not do. She was praised by our Lord because she took something that was in her hand and did the best thing she could do with it, she gave it to the Lord and used it for His glory. Everything we have in our lives: family, talent, money, time, ability, and influence will be squandered if we only focus on what we do not have and what we cannot do. God is looking for people who will simply surrender to Him and let Him use them and their things for magnificent purposes!

What a difference we can make every day if we will just do what we can do! God is looking for people today who will stop making excuses about what they cannot do and start doing what they can do! What can you do today? What is it that God has gifted and enabled you to do for His glory and honor? I love what the great UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden would say to his players: "Don't let what you can't do stop you from doing what you can do!"

During this crisis I have heard so many good people talk about where they cannot go, what they cannot buy, where they cannot eat out, what entertainment they cannot participate in, etc.... This attitude is not helping your life and your walk with God! Stop seeing what you cannot do and start looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of others by doing what you can do!

It is my experience that God uses many people who have little talent but great willingness more so than those who have great talent and little willingness. Your best ability is availability to take whatever opportunity and talent that you have and allow your God to use it for His good pleasure! Who knows, you may just make a life-changing difference for someone today by simply taking an opportunity to do what you can do!

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