We know the story. The little train has a break down and can't move. Several engines come along but all of them have an excuse as to why they can't help the little train. Eventually a little blue engine comes along and saves the day. We remember the favorite line - "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." and as he goes down the other side of the mountain - we remember the famous words "I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could."
We leave the story usually with the lesson being we can do anything we put our mind to. Right?
But let me drop back just a little bit and remind you of someone in the story that is what I feel like the key element and does not seem to be very important as you read. Remember "the funniest little toy clown you ever saw"? Check him out again. Every time one of the engines that they stopped and asked for help gave them "some excuse" as to why they could not help, THE FUNNY LITTLE CLOWN was there to cheer them on, waving his flag to stop the next engine to ask for help. He NEVER gave up! He was their encourager. He consoled them when they were disappointed.
After I read that years ago to my high school students as motivation and encouragement to them, I realized that God was telling me that He has done that for us. Only it doesn't come in the form of a little toy clown. When we became His child, He gave us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. Not just a little bit of it - but ALL of the Holy Spirit. Not just enough to get us through a few things but to get us through EVERYTHING. His Spirit is always encouraging us, nudging us, pushing us, telling us not to give up because we will "at the appointed season" reap! (Galatians 6:9 "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.")
The next time you think you "can't" do something - picture the Holy Spirit cheering for you, encouraging you as you push through a difficult situation so you can say "I knew I could. I knew I could. I knew I could." because HE can!