by Darren Pope
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‘The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down’ (Psalm 145:14).
With sweat on his brow, arm outstretched, eyes closed, and fully focused, Luke Skywalker channels his entire energy into lifting his crashed X-Wing fighter out of the secluded swamp, using ‘the force’ as Master Yoda watches on. Moments before, Yoda had proclaimed, ‘Try not. Do or do not, there is no try’. So, Luke had a go only to watch the X-Wing gurgle back below the soupy surface. Exasperated, Luke falls at the feet of Yoda and cries out, ‘I can’t!’
It’s a pivotal moment in the film The Empire Strikes Back because it is in Luke’s weakness that he discovers he has a lot to learn from his mentor and that there is strength in faith.
‘I can’t’ rolls off the tongue so easily, doesn’t it? Here’s the great thing about doing life. Our wise and ever-present mentor sticks close by us each day. God knows that we will struggle, that we will doubt, and that we will be weak, and he is right there to give us strength. The psalmist sings of the way things happen. Each phrase is another aspect of what God does for us, in us and through us. How good is this! It doesn’t matter that I can’t. God can!
Gracious and compassionate Lord, my mouth will speak in praise of you. You are my mentor, my redeemer and my force. Let every creature praise your holy name forever and ever. Amen.