Have you ever started something you couldn’t finish? On a fine sunny day last week we set off with my sister and her family to climb the Eildon hills. The ground was quite wet and muddy. Someone was bound to fall! On the way up I landed on my rear in the mud. We pressed on, slipping and sliding, until we met a steep section of running water. A detour through a drier area eventually led us back to the path. We ate our lunch and started the descent. More embarrassment followed, leaving bright red mud on my jeans, gloves and rucksack.
The human mind and body are capable of extraordinary feats. And we often achieve more when receiving support from family, friends or colleagues. But there are limits even to their abilities (as the Eildons proved). St Paul however discovered an unlimited source of strength. When faced with all kinds of trials including riots, prison, assassination attempts and shipwreck, he wrote “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Of course Jesus doesn’t guarantee to get me up the Eildons. But by trusting in him I can be sure to stand up to whatever life throws my way.