In my opinion there is no statement more damaging than when it is retold over and over so many times that it is no longer even questioned. People are less and less likely to fact-check anything these days it seems. When you look online and so many people are re-posting information that, “If you don’t share this information Facebook will start charging for its services” or any of the many of the same variety.
“God will not give you more than you can handle” is thrown around like a balloon at a child’s birthday party. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but it’s crap. Plain and simple.
When our pastor brought it up yesterday and implied that a person might be tempted to punch a person who spits that out while they are in the midst of turmoil I shouted, “AMEN!”
The last thing I wanted to hear when I was diagnosed with cancer was that God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle. A person of lesser faith might see this as either A) God hates me and isn’t paying attention or B) God thinks I’m bad-ass.
For the most part, unfortunately, at the time I was hearing these little blurbs of what people considered encouragement, I was either too beaten or just too sick to set them straight.
Well here I am, cancer free and ready to stand firm and fight for all those to come after me.
The Bible never once says God won’t give you more than you can handle. It is merely a perversion of the following verse.
1 Corinthians 10 : 13
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (New Living Translation)
First of all, it’s not even talking about troubles, it’s talking about temptation. Secondly, it does not imply you won’t be tempted, it states clearly that when you are tempted, God will show you a way out.
I want to shout at people, “YES, THIS IS MORE THAN I CAN HANDLE!” What it is not though, is not more than God can handle and He will get me through this in one piece.
How does He do that?
Well, He brings people into my life, and me in to other people’s lives. They answer His call, they are the church together. When I pray, He answers my prayers by sending those who faithfully answer His calling.
At the end of each sermon we are given Next Steps to facilitate taking the sermon out in to the real world. I won’t lie, this morning I called Matty (my pastor) and said, I know I took notes and that the first step was Get Church but I threw out my notes and need to know what steps two and three were.
I’m in the middle of something that is so much more than I an handle right now. It is not my first time in this position, and I am confident it is not the last.
Next Step 1: GET CHURCH
I texted, emailed, and talked to no less than four believers who are willing to take me by the hand and calm my heart through the storm. These people mean the world to me. They not only hold me accountable, they challenge my thoughts they grow my faith, they care for my heart when it is broken.
Next Step 2: BE HONEST
Through text conversations with five people, a sit down with a dear friend who is on staff at the church, and a three word rant to my Pastor in an email…I was honest. Although I wasn’t always eloquent nor even very nice; I was honest.
I’m hurting, I’m frustrated, I’m scared.
Next Step 3: FEAR THE GREATER SUFFERING
As Matty explained it, fear being removed from relationship with God by walking away. I cannot even imagine my life without my relationship between God and myself.
As it applies to my situation, I fear the greater suffering of continuing things as they are without taking action. Although the suffering of taking action is definitely going to stir up the waves, it will eventually calm the seas.
The greater suffering from not dealing with this situation in my path would have implications that are generations deep.
So, the next time you feel like you want to tell somebody that God will not give them more than they can handle…please don’t.
Instead, offer what support you are called to give. BE the church. BE the support that allows them to be honest. Hold their hand through the suffering. THAT is how they will get through it in one piece.
…When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure…
He will show you, it is up to you to take the path marked FOLLOW ME. You can lead a horse to water…due to the gift of free will, God can lead us from temptation, it is ultimately up to us to allow Him to take our hand.