There’s a delightful children’s book entitled, The Little Engine That Could. All the way up the mountain the little engine kept saying, “I think I can. . .I think I can.” Finally, at the top of the mountain, the persistent little steam engine chugs off into the distance, “I thought I could... I thought I could... I thought I could!”
But just as surely as there is power in positive thinking, there is also power in negative thinking, although decidedly not for good.
It is amazing to see how often God worked out His purposes through human channels, even reluctant ones.
Consider the basketful of excuse Moses offered to the Lord when told him to go to Egypt and lead God’s people out of bondage:
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (I’m not capable).
“If I come to the people of Israel and say to them? “the God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (I don’t know enough).
“But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.” (It won’t do any good).
“Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent.. . .I am slow of speech and tongue.” (I can’t talk).
“Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person.” (I don’t want to do it).
God’s promise, “I will be with you,” should have been sufficient for Moses. And Christ’s promise, “I am with you always,” should be enough for us. But instead, we begin to make excuses: “I’m not capable, I don’t know enough, it won’t do any good, I can’t talk.” Watch out for those excuses!
If we told the truth, we’d have to abandon our excuses and just say, “I don’t want to do it, get someone else!”
Negative thinking hinders success, but the Lord prevailed and pressed Moses, Jonah, Gideon and others to achieve greater success than they could imagine. Instead of saying, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” embrace the promises of God and say: “I think I can, I think I can.”
- John Gipson (edited)