When You Can't Do

When You Can’t Do

In life, we often define ourselves by what we can do. Our abilities, accomplishments, and productivity become intertwined with our identity. But what happens when circumstances change, and we find ourselves unable to do what we’re accustomed to? It’s a challenging transition that many of us face at some point, whether due to health issues, family responsibilities, or the natural process of aging.

Shifting Perspectives

I know this struggle all too well. As a natural-born doer, I dedicated myself to providing for my family, working tirelessly and sacrificing my own well-being. However, at the age of 47, my body betrayed me, and I suddenly couldn’t do what I was used to anymore. The realization was disheartening, and I felt lost.

During my journey of adapting to a new reality, I received a profound insight from my wife. She said, “You’re not disabled, you’re retired. Now you decide what you want to do.” It was a shift in perspective that changed everything. Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do, I began asking myself, “What can I do?”

Lessons from Isaiah

In moments of doubt and frustration, I often turn to the words of the prophet Isaiah. While the context may be different, the message resonates deeply. Isaiah 30:15 reminds us that salvation and strength lie in repentance, rest, quietness, and trust. These ancient promises are still relevant today, meaning just as much to us today as they were intended to when they were first spoken to the Israelites.

Learning from History

Just as the Israelites failed to heed these words, we too can easily succumb to fear and doubt. Yet, we have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and embrace a new perspective. When faced with limitations, whether temporary or long-term, we should not allow frustration to consume us. Instead, we should shift our focus, pray and ask ourselves, “What can I do now?”

It is in these moments of surrender and acceptance that we discover unexpected rewards and profound peace. As I look back on the years since I became disabled, I realize that they have been the most rewarding and peaceful of my life. By letting go of what I couldn’t do and embracing what I could, I found new purpose, joy, and contentment.

Embracing the Question: “What Can I Do Now?”

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, grappling with the frustration of not being able to do what you once could, I encourage you to adopt a new perspective. Release the attachment to what was and open yourself to the possibilities of what can be. Embrace the power of repentance, rest, quietness, and trust, allowing God’s strength to rejuvenate you.

Remember, our value as individuals is not solely defined by our actions or achievements. It lies in our ability to adapt, grow, and find fulfillment even in the midst of change. Embrace the journey of discovering what you can do and allow it to lead you to a life filled with purpose, peace, and abundant blessings.


In the face of limitations and unexpected challenges, it is essential to embrace a new perspective. Rather than dwelling on what we can no longer do, let us shift our focus to what we can do in the present moment. By drawing inspiration from scriptural promises and learning from the mistakes of the past, we can find renewed purpose and joy in our journey.

So, embrace the question, “What can I do now?” and trust that in the surrender and acceptance of our circumstances, we can discover unexpected rewards and profound peace. Let go of the expectations of the past and open yourself to the possibilities of the present. Remember, your worth is not defined by your abilities, but by your ability to adapt, grow, and find fulfillment in the midst of change.

As always, if you need extra help with this or any other issue, I’m always available. Please go to my counseling page to contact me with your concerns.

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