Sunday, June 11, 2006

God will not put more on you than you can handle?

It’s tough right now. It is to the point of giving up; however, decisions must be made. Things must get done. There is no stopping. Yet, I am not sure what to do or how to do it. What do you do when you and your spouse are both working full time jobs, but you still can’t afford a much needed ‘new’ used car? What do you do when you can’t afford the rent where you are staying, but you can’t find another place to live? What do you do when…? I am just guessing my way through this.

Thinking back, I was at a job that where I had been for almost 10 years and had worked my way up to 18/hr. Left that job to follow the Voice of God. I continued to follow that Voice for three years. But, in 2004, almost the exact opposite of what I heard that Voice say occurred. Instead of changing roles, and staying there 4-5 more years, we were gone in 4-5 weeks! Went from being able to pay all of our bills on time and having dependable transportation, to bankruptcy in 6 months. Since then, I have had 4 different jobs and one period of unemployment. Did I miss something? It may sound like I am blaming people or circumstances, but the real issue is with me and God Himself; and, the fact that there does not seem to be a Voice anymore.

Maybe there is a Voice, but I don’t trust it. Maybe the voice that I had grown accustomed to was not really The Voice that I thought it was. Maybe this, maybe that…I have been absolutely clueless for the past two years. The only thing that I can trust right now, is the Bible. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust my prayer life, I don’t trust preachers/ministers/churches, I don’t trust well-meaning people, and I have realized that there is not, and never will be, a ‘safe place' anywhere. (It's not that I 'dis-trust', or think that people are out to get me, but I don't trust either. I just feel nothing.) That leaves me with only one thing to do, or I die…read my Bible consistently…even if I don’t seem to be getting anything out of it. And, I continue to pray—hoping that one day something will ‘click’ again.

As I think back over all of that and wonder about our future…I think about a phrase that I have heard often over the years—“God will not put more on you than you can handle.” Really? Usually we even add, “That’s what the Bible says”. Then why do we get to a point where we can’t handle any more? Why do people have nervous breakdowns? Why are people hospitalized because of exhaustion?

I have not yet found this concept in the Bible. I think that we get this idea from 1 Corinthians 10:13, but this speaks to temptation…not difficulties of life. What I do see in the Bible is plenty of examples of having more than one can handle. Here are just a few:

· A fiery furnace is definitely more than I could handle. Daniel 3:17-18; (I can’t handle these 100 degree days in middle Georgia.)
· Destitute, ill-treated Christians who did not receive what was promised. Hebrews 11:37-40;
· Paul asking God to remove a messenger of Satan, and God doesn’t. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
· Paul describes what, in my opinion, is more than he could handle. 2 Corinthians 11:23-30;
· And of course, there is Job. I should probably read all 42 chapters at this time. Who could handle all of this? And God is orchestrating the whole thing! Then, in James, we see all of that summed up. James 5:11;

I believe that God not only allows more than we can handle, He makes sure that we will have more than we can handle. We pray against it, we call it an attack from the enemy, we ask God to remove us from it, and all sorts of things. However, we should expect it. We should even be content, almost happy, about it. We should even brag about it?

WHY? So that we will become totally dependent on Him. Wouldn’t it better to walk victoriously throught the shadow of death instead of delivered from it? He puts more than we can handle on us, to break us. It has to happen. The Relationship cannot go deeper until it does. The focus should instead be on our response to difficulties, not the difficulties themselves. So, I find encouragement in the following:

Heb 12:4 ¶ You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

Jas 5:10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.

1Pet 1:6 ¶ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith––the salvation of your souls.

Rev 2:10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

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