Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

sometimes He does give you more than you can handle

There's this wild rumor that has spread for as long as I've been alive. I am sure you've heard it. People love to say, "God won't give you more than you can handle."


That's just not true. He does allow life to seem like way too much sometimes. He does allow it to seem, at times, that everything is out of control. The truth is, He's always in control no matter how chaotic circumstances may look. BUT I really do believe that sometimes He gives us more than we can handle.

Just give me a second to explain. The Lord is for you. He's on your side. He will never leave or forsake you. He is love. And love is what He does.

It's not like He's up there in heaven throwing obstacle after obstacle after sickness after trial and suffering at us until He sees us unable to juggle everything; just so He can watch us crash and burn. No. That's not loving and that's not Him. BUT I do believe He ALLOWS things and seasons and circumstances to occur that seem like way too much. But I think He allows it so we can refocus our attention on Him and come to the realization that we need Him way more than we're willing to admit (or even think) we do.

Now take a look at Job. Do you think Job had all of those horrible circumstances and situations totally handled? No. Do you think it was too much? Um, YEAH. But Job trusted. He had faith that the Lord would rescue him. He had faith that the Lord would be his strength when he had none, that the Lord would be his joy when it seemed like there was nothing to be joyful about. He had faith that the Lord would be His comfort when everything in his life was absolute chaos. Job did something so incredible and it often gets overlooked.

I absolutely believe the trials and sufferings Job faced were "more than he could handle." But guess what; there's a lesson in there. The thing is, we are supposed to rely on the Lord for everything. Literally EVERYTHING. But so often, we have this mindset that we can tackle most things on our own. In our normal day to day routines, we feel like we've got it handled and we keep God in our pocket to pull Him out when something big happens and we need His help.

This is a dangerous mindset. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). Yes, that is true. BUT apart from Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5). NOTHING. I walk through life so often not even realizing that I'm trying to do things in my own strength. I apply to grad schools and think I can do it on my own. But I can't.

Apart from Him I am nothing and I can do nothing. Why am I not relying on Him for everything in every moment? At what point in my life did I think, "Nope, I don't need Him. I got this on my own. Yeah, I know He's omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfect, just, mighty, miraculous, a healer, etc. But I can do it without Him. Yeah, sure, He created the world and everything and sent His only Son to die in my place so I can live eternally with Him, but I don't need His help. I can do this on my own. Yes, I know He has raised the dead to life, eliminated sickness, parted the Red Sea, done miraculous signs and wonders, but it's alright. I've got this on my own."

Of course it's never that blatantly obvious in our minds that that's what we are doing.

But let me get back to the point. Our God loves us so deeply (John 3:16). His love is literally perfect (1 John 4:7-21). He's not a petty God that just wants to stick it to us at times to spite us with an "I'll show you!" mindset. No, that's who we are as sinners. I am a firm believer, however, that He's always speaking (John 10:27). There's always a lesson He is teaching us.

And in those seasons where it's just too much. I think the lesson is quite obvious. You can't do it on your own. It's too heavy. It's too much. We need to rely on Him. We need to surrender control. We need to trust Him in the waiting, trust Him in the dark, trust Him in the uncertainty.

He tells us to cast all our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). I don't know about you, but words like easy and light sound pretty appealing to me -- especially in a season of trials and suffering or in the face of adversity.

So when I'm completely overwhelmed trying to process the death of a precious 7 year old boy whom I loved dearly, and my grandpa is diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and Alzheimer's, and my uncle has hepatitis C that has progressed to cirrhosis of the liver, and my grandma is unconscious and unresponsive and we have to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital and then when she's home again she falls and splits her head open, and when my mom is in a car accident and has burns and bruises up and down her body and the neurologist comes back with a scan and says there is a funny little spot on her brain that a neurosurgeon needs to check; YEAH, I think it's safe to say it's too much to handle. But it's only too much to handle if I'm trying to do it on my own and in my own strength.

There's no such thing as too much or too big or too far gone for God. He is limitless. He is eternal. He is everything and everywhere.

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14)

"But He said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)