Summary: We cannot do anything apart from Jesus, even though we think we are in control. We must come to a place of surrender, willing to trust in the strength of our Father God. Portions of this outline and message are derived from notes on Church Edge
Today, we’re beginning what I plan to be a 3 week message series entitled, Jesus Strong. The text for today’s message will be from the Letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13. That’s Philippians 4:13. You can go ahead and turn there in your Bible if you’d like and we’ll read it together in a bit. That’s Philippians 4:13.
There’s a letter, purportedly written to an insurance company, that has circulated around for several years now. It’s been used by many preachers and public speakers, and has also been printed in safety bulletins that I’ve seen by various companies.
Honestly, I don’t know if this was, in fact, a real letter relating actual events, or if it was just a bit of creative writing; but I want to read it to you.
I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block number 3 of the accident report form, I put "trying to do the job alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient:
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over.
Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which, fortunately, was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the brick into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tight to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. You will note, in block number 11 of the accident report form, that I weigh 135 pounds.
Due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.
Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom broke out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately fifty pounds.
I refer you again to my weight in the accident reporting form, block number 11.
As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I, again, met the barrel coming up. This accounted for the two fractured ankles and the lacerations on my legs and lower body.
The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks, in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel six stories above me...I again lost my presence of mind...and let go of the rope!
Now, as I said, I haven’t been able to verify the validity of the story, but it sounds VERY MUCH like something that I would do. As many of you know, I am the consummate do-it-yourselfer, and I’m not very good at asking for help, although I DO weigh about twice what the person in the letter weighs… so there IS that!
The point is… there are some things that should not be done alone. One of those is LIFE! The old saying “No man is an Island” is true. We aren’t meant to be alone in this world.
When God created the world and everything in it, each day, He looked at it “and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:10,12,18,21 & 25)
That is, until he created Adam, and saw that Adam was the only human, made in God’s image, and for the only time in creation, “…God said, “It is NOT good…”” (Genesis 2:18)
So God then created Eve to be a helper – a companion for Adam, and then God saw that, “It was VERY good!” (Genesis 1:31)
And, I suspect that Adam agreed!
So, from creation – we were not intended to be alone. Now, first, that says that we NEED each other. I often hear people tell me that old lie of the Devil that “I don’t need to go to Church to worship God.”