Doing All Things

The following is an excerpt from my devotional book Finding God in the Everyday. If you enjoy it, check out the book.

I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I was in a work-study program to help pay for my education. I was assigned to the library, and when I showed up to find out what my job would be, the librarian took me into a tiny office.

“Your application said you took typing,” she said. “You’ll type the catalog cards for us.”

There was a problem, however—and I’m really dating myself now! The small high school I’d attended owned only one electric typewriter. We each got to type on it once during the year; the rest of the time, we used the old manual typewriters. We didn’t even get to turn on the electric one—the teacher turned it on for us and just let us type a few paragraphs.

To my shock, the typewriter in the college library was an electric. I immediately panicked. I envisioned myself being kicked out of school because I couldn’t do the job, humiliating myself and dashing my family’s dreams of having a member with a college education.

I had no idea what to do, but God gave me the answer.

I took a deep breath and asked, “Do you have a manual for this machine? I’m not familiar with this model, and I’d like to read up on it to save time when I start.”

The librarian handed me the book that held the secrets to this challenging piece of equipment. I took it back to my dorm room and read it, re-read it, and studied it. The next day, I reported to work and turned on that typewriter just as if I’d done it a hundred times before.

I don’t know if the librarian ever realized I didn’t know what I was doing. She never gave any indication she did, and in a few months, she started giving me the most complicated jobs in the library. She was also the faculty secretary and even had me type the minutes and correspondence for the faculty.

If God provided the answer to my ignorance about an electric typewriter, He can provide the answer in any situation. He may not always solve our problems, but He always gives us the strength to get through.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Heavenly Father, too often I rely on my own strength, and it’s not enough. I will lean on You, knowing that You will either solve the problem or give me the strength to get through it. You are always with me, lifting me up when I am weak. Thank You that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. In His name. Amen.

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