Wednesday, September 2, 2009

more than we can bear.

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

It's a popular saying in Christianity. "God won't give you more than you can handle." I've heard people dole out this almost-cliché on numerous occasions: times of death and intense tragedy, bad days, frustrating situations. Ironically, I've never heard it used as encouragement in moments of temptation. So is it even true? Surely what God gave Job was more than he could handle. And what about Sarah and Hannah, who were childless for years? Weren't they faced with more than they could bear?

I think we get so caught up in our happy, go-lucky Christianity that we forget there's hard stuff. Stuff that is heavy. Burdensome. Stuff that we just can't take care of by ourselves. Stuff that sometimes, God doesn't choose to take away. And what I think we fail to understand as we try to make our faith easy and accessible is that sometimes, God does give us more than we can handle.

And then He shows us how He can take it and turn it all around.

This week has been hard for a number of reasons, on a number of levels. I've been dealing with hard stuff and heavy burdens. And I've been struggling with why exactly they've been given to me. To the people I love.

And tonight, I understood.

God wants me to let Him handle them, to let Him use them for His glory.

Because when work is rotten, when your faith lets you down, when you can't seem to catch a break...

There is Jesus.

I don't know why I haven't been able to see Him. I get tunnel vision. Blurred vision. I focus on the imperfect people instead of the perfect Savior, and tonight, He caught me. He got my attention and turned me around.

My "little" cousin was baptized tonight. And I know to some people, this won't make sense. I know to some people, it's nothing more than a ritual. But to me... It is life. And the moment she hit the water, I knew.

This is what my faith is about.

It's not about burdens. It's about those who lift our loads.

It's not about stumbling. It's about overcoming.

It's not about brokenness. It's about togetherness.

It's not about them. It's about Jesus.

How He died for me so that He could take care of me, save me, rescue me, and make me new.

And tonight, on my cousin's birthday-- the most important day of her life-- He made me new again.

He proved, as He always does and always will, that He knows best. That He can bear any burden and use any and every tribulation for His glory.

My God is faithful.


Anonymous said...

This is such encouraging news! Happy Birthday sweet Ashley!

Lindsey said...

This made tears run down my face. God speaks through you and it's so wonderful. I'm so glad you write because your thoughts are beautiful and so encouraging.