God doesn’t give us more than we can handle- falseUpdate: It is now February 24, 2014. I think about the woman…my age… waiting at the hospital for any sign that her husband will recover from a bad car accident two days ago. I think about her struggling with what to tell her children. My mind wanders to the sweet women who shared their losses in our GriefShare class yesterday. So much loss…deaths that are incomprehensible…lives gone too soon. I ponder how a friend of a friend is dealing with being diagnosed with cancer while pregnant…only to lose her baby girl at 38 weeks from the cord that’s supposed to bring life instead bringing death. And then she finds that the cancer has spread. The last two days, all I can think is…too much. Too stinking much. This hard world can be overwhelming in its cruelty. I recalled writing this post a year and a half ago, and it rings truer than ever tonight.
So hopefully you didn’t read the title and worry that I’ve really gone off the theological deep end. Not yet…still hanging in there. However, this has really been on my mind lately, and it was reaffirmed at Bible study tonight. When I think about the verse that people loooooove to quote (which really isn’t in the Bible) about how God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, I have realized that in fact, we are faced with many things we can’t handle…horrifying loss, past abuse, big time financial problems, addiction…and a million other things. We are in a season where it seems like many things are going wrong- and most of it will probably end up costing us a lot of money. This oft-quoted verse has popped into my mind a lot- I Cor. 10:13- “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (or tried) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (or tested), he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”.
I would never presume that God would think that, on my own, I could bear having my child die in my arms- what mother could endure that?
But what I have realized is that the key is in the last part of that scripture- HE will provide a way out.
So often we turn to other humans as our way out or we desperately try to find something to numb our pain…and the whole entire pitiful time we are groping for something, the answer is that God provides- with his comfort, his peace…his sweet spirit that groans on our behalf. We often are confronted with things that would bring us to total collapse- without God.