Sunday, September 23, 2012

Your path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell.

There's a line that's really getting on my nerves today, and for once, it wasn't said to me.  I read it in a blog post of a girl who sounds so much like the way I felt a few years ago, and it just makes my heart hurt for her because I now know that it's not Biblical or accurate.

"God never gives you anything more than you can handle."

Now, I understand the sentiment behind it.  I understand why people might say that to a loved one, in hopes of building up their self-esteem to the point that they believe in themselves again.  In hindsight, I understand why so many people, church members, nurses, pastors, and on and on, said it to me when I was going through all of that medical trauma a couple years ago.  They wanted me to find the hope that I would get through all of that.  But all it did was make me feel even worse for not believing in myself the way everyone seemed to.

Here's what I now believe to be true:  God will absolutely give you more than you can handle.  I mean, take a look in the Bible.  Do you think Job could handle losing everything he had and all the people he loved by himself?  Do you think that Daniel could handle being thrown in with hungry lions by himself?  Do you think Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could handle being thrown in a furnace by themselves?  If they could handle any of that on their own, there wouldn't be a need for God.

I believe that we face trials in this life so that we can come closer to understanding that we can't handle the pain on our own.  Part of being human means that the skills and strength we have within us will never be adequate to face all of the horrible things that come with living in a sinful, broken world.  God never once promises us in the Bible that our path to His Kingdom will be easy.  Jesus does say, however, "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)

So you see, God tells us that this world will not be easy.  BUT Jesus Christ came to defeat all of the brokenness and evil so that if we cling to Him, we will be carried through difficulty that would otherwise make us feel like giving up.  I think it is when we accept the fact that we are inadequate that we fully submit to His grace and are able to accept that He is greater than all of us.  We will never be enough, but God is always enough.  There is NOTHING that God cannot handle.  And there are pains we all will feel in this life that can suck the joy right out of our hearts if we let them.  I know I've done that far too much in my life.

I read this quote somewhere online, and I think it says a lot: "Instead of telling God how big your storm is, try telling the storm how big your God is."  No matter what we face, whether it be sickness, broken hearts, losing a job, not enough money to make ends meet, or fights with friends, God is bigger.  God is bigger than all of the bad things in the world, and that's why we need His guidance.  We are humans, thus we are weak.  If God only gave us what we could handle, this world would be nothing but sunshine and rainbows.  It wouldn't be a world where depression exists.  It wouldn't be a world where young kids take razor blades to their wrists because they feel like there's no other way to let the pain go, that no matter what words they speak no one will understand how much they hurt.

God will absolutely give us more than we can handle.  It is in that feeling of being completely overwhelmed by the stresses of this life that He gives us the opportunity to realize that His love will get us through.  That is what He promises, and that promise of a bright eternity with the God who sent His son to overcome the world is sometimes the only thing that will get us to tomorrow.  Just hold on.

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1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I haven't had time to sit down and read this until now, but hey that's college. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and understanding. It was very hard for me to post what I did and I am so happy that you took it to heart. I'm doing much better and my relationship with God has only strengthen in the past months. It is amazing how many people have been put in my path that have helped me in ways I never imagined anyone ever would. Thank you so much for your support and your wonderful words of encouragement.