I Can’t Do Everything

Just a short thought.

Have you ever seen Home for the Holidays (1995)?  It’s one of the most underrated Thanksgiving / holiday movies around.  Great cast including Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Dylan McDermott.  Even Steve Guttenberg!  But it’s like watching a train wreck.  Not one for the kids unless you want to permanently scar them for life about how messed up families can be.

There are so many memorable scenes, but not that many quotable lines, which is probably one of the reasons why it’s been largely overlooked.  One dialogue does stand out though for my wife and me, and she reminded me about it the other day.  There’s a scene where the older sister is frantically trying to get all the dishes in order before starting to serve Thanksgiving dinner.  Others are willing to help, but she’s an absolute control freak and has to have everything a particular way.  In her mind, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving unless everything is picture perfect.  The turkey, the dressing, salads, rolls, green beans.  It all has to be absolutely perfect.

While she’s freaking out trying to make sure she remembered every detail, she finally cracks and shouts out –

“I can’t do everything.  I CAN’T DO EVERYTHING!

Her sister calmly responds – “No one asked you to.”

Absolutely savage, which is why we love this movie so much.  But the situation is totally relatable.

How many of us go throughout the days and weeks, barely able to keep our heads above water, desperately trying to control every instance and circumstance around us?  How many of us feel like it’s all going to explode or come crashing down around us if we don’t have every detail in order?

Even in our prayer, we may feel completely inadequate approaching a Holy and Righteous God with our insignificant cares and worries. Maybe I’m being selfish asking for this? Maybe God’s too busy to care about me. Maybe I’m not good enough to go to Him as I am?

The wonderful assurance that Christians have is that NO ONE ASKED YOU TO to be in control or perfect. We don’t come to God already perfect. We come to His Son, Jesus, broken, filthy, and desperate. And He puts on HIS righteousness and glory over us.

Even when we don’t know how or what to pray, God gave us HIS Spirit to do the talking for us.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Romans 8:26-27

Despite our ignorance and selfishness, God accepts and hears our prayers because the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God! Isn’t that amazing? Our prayers are perfected not because of the words we speak or by our choice of eloquent phrasing but because the Holy Spirit speaks to God on our behalf.

Stop trying to control that which is out of your power or even concern. Focus on relinquishing the reigns to God. Seek His will for your life and obey.

Father, not my will, but YOURS be done.


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