A Facebook friend of mine recently posted a blog that was titled, “God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.”
Here, here, my fellow blogger and friend! I concur. If you’ve traveled in Christian circles for a long time, then someone at some point has told you, “God WON’T give you more than you can handle.” We tell each other this, because it’s supposed to be comforting. My husband Scott and I have discussed this sentiment at length. We’re suspicious, very suspicious.
I’ve been pondering some deep things lately. I prefer pondering recipes, silly You Tube videos and puppies. But, here I am; I’m thinking about human beings, faith, what is true and what is not true. Blaach! I hate it when I do that.
If you have known me for a while, or are nice enough to read my blog, then you know faith is front and center in my life. I have mentioned that, right? At least I think I have. Why wouldn’t I mention that? I really meant to! How could I be so dumb? Oh, sorry. Are you still there? Stay focused, Miki. This is serious.
I’ve been thinking about faith, particularly my faith in Christ. I have some dear friends who don’t get me on this. I love these friends. They are part of the reason I have to stop and ask myself sometimes what really makes sense.
What I have learned is that there is a lot about God and His plan that makes no sense to me at all. For example, this whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle,” business. What if you have pain and heartache so deep, that your mind fractures and you become permanently unstable? To me that seems like more than a person can handle.
That’s a really smart lady who wrote the blog post I mentioned above. She can quote you verses in the Bible that call in to question the whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle” debate. I’m not that smart, and I’m not going to quote scripture. Not that I couldn’t, “Jesus Wept”! I know that verse by heart. But there I go again, intimidating you with my knowledge of the scripture. I don’t mean to do that. I promise, I’m a common person, just like you.
What I really wanted to do was think about my own life, and decide what has proven to be true and what has proven to be untrue.
What is TRUE is learning that life was never supposed to work out neatly. Figuring that out was a relief. Here I was going along thinking people were supposed to always be nice and stay healthy. Once I learned the truth, the shock of it all was more easily absorbed. Now you’re going to ask me, “But, why DOES God give us all the pain, Miki?”
And, my answer to you is, “Get in line with that question, sister! I’m asking the same thing.” Seems that God could have chosen to give us a problem free existence, right?
I know the Sunday School reply is that God gives us free will. Our nature is to choose sin. Sin messes up EVERYTHING!!!! I guess the more philosophical way to state that is, we live in a world that is jacked up by design. Then, you have part two of that answer: all these trials and troubles are helping us grow and to live by faith.
I guess, looking back, I would have to say that hardship has made me stronger, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have told God that I promise I’ll grow without all the troubles. We’re still in negotiations. I’ll let you know if I make any headway.
What has been UNTRUE for me is that I am capable of absorbing the pain of life without Faith. I need it. I need God. If I thought life was random, I would be well beyond the threshold of what I can tolerate. BUT….if there is a POINT, and if there is a place I can relinquish all my troubles, and if there is God who’s invested in and cares about my pain. I can do that.
I still have a lot of questions. I still feel sad and I mourn. I get weary. God knows it, because that’s what I keep telling Him. I won’t do life without Him though. I’m clinging to His leg, like my kids clung to mine when I used to try dropping them off in the nursery. I never was able to shake them. God can’t shake me either. I’m too attached to the peace that comes from being in his presence. My roots are too deep in a foundation of a life that is built on believing His plan is Good. Those deep roots are what keep me from breaking and protect my mind from a fracture.
I know now that I can simultaneously feel deep sadness and a sense of peace. If I thought life was random, I think I’d be left with just the sadness. I don’t want that. So, God definitely HAS given me more than I can handle…without faith.
I’m not here to settle anyone’s theological debates. I truly shudder at the thought of telling people what they should and should not be doing. I’m sorry. I know Christians are good at that. Maybe they want me to be good at it too. I am working on too many problems of my own right now; I could not begin to find the motivation for pointing out other people’s. What I CAN handle is talking about what I am learning. Sometimes people share what they’re learning with me too. I like it.
When I am having a day where I feel like I am absolutely at the end of myself, I’m tired of praying, and I am all out of answers, God puts music in my life to comfort my soul. This song spoke for me the other day. If you’re tired and weary today, you may like it too.