A very popular quote that you will hear Christians say during a times of grief and challenge is “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
Honestly, I used to be believe this. It made me feel safe knowing that I could handle anything God threw my way. I based this promise on Romans 8:28 and I Corinthians 10:13.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted
beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
I bought into the lie of society. The lie that twisted scripture to make situations seem positive and manageable. A lie that places God as a cheerleader for my team and me winning whatever comes my way.
But during my devotion time this morning, I realized that at this moment God has given me more than I can handle. With two kids in therapy (more on that later), a toddler who wants to whine instead of talk, a full-time job, a princess who needs her mommy’s attention, and a husband who deserves his wife’s love, pressures of extended family, the busyness of Christmas knocking at our door…I. Can. Not. Handle. All. Of. This.
And do you know what the Holy Spirit said to me?
Good! Now I can use you to bless others.
See, as long as I can handle it, then I don’t need God. As long as I can control everything going on around me, life is good. As long as life is good, God is not able to work in my life because I am not tuned to Him.
There is a wonderful Halloween story called the Pumpkin Gospel. Using the illustration of a jack-o-latern, the illustration explains how we are like pumpkins. God is the pumpkin carver.
This morning, He reminded me how He is simply carving out the yuck to make me shine brighter for Him. He is scooping out the pride and arrogance. He is pulling up the selfishness. He is cutting out the anger.
For some of us, until more is put on our plates than we can manage, we don’t see our need for God. We like our pumpkin face and don’t realize that in reality, we are rotting on the inside. Using the sports analogy, we are content to the be ball player and God be the supporting fan in the stands.
But there is so much more to this life. And God is showing me glimpses along the way that are breath taking. Each glimpse makes me hunger for more.
In closing…I Corinthians 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So, I humbly pray…
God carve it out. Scoop out the yuck that causes me to not love unconditionally. Pull out what keeps me from allowing you to lead. Cut away my inability to forgive and forget. Take away the yuck that causes people to stumble. Remove that which is decaying inside my heart. All so that Your light is able to shine brightly. Lord, thank You that I can boast in weakness because in this You are made strong.
Oh, and God…thank You that You don’t just give me what I can handle.
In Jesus’ name…