Monday, August 22, 2016
There was this week about 4 1/2 years ago that God gave me more than I could handle. Immediately some readers got uncomfortable I bet. Because the idea that "God will never give you more than you can handle" is often accepted as scripture. But it's totally wrong.
First I'll tell you about that fateful week. I had received a devastating cancer diagnosis several weeks earlier. It was the week of my first chemo. I was so very nervous about all of it. On Thursday of 'that' week, I go for my 4 hours of chemotherapy and Friday I'm at school, mostly because I had used up my sick time with the surgery and other appointments. I'm at school, frankly feeling like garbage, willing it to be the end of the day. I get called into my principal's office and I'm told I've been cut from my teaching job due to projected numbers for the upcoming school year. I call my husband to pick me up from school as I am too sick to drive. We are anxious and beyond devastated. Our conversations are filled with "what ifs". Salary, benefits, security-it's all terrifying. Three days later, as I am at home, trying to manage the chemo symptoms, my husband calls me and tells me he's coming home early and he needs to talk. Definitely not a good sign. He was laid off from the bank where he was employed. Seriously, God? It's too much.
Okay...more than we can handle? I absolutely can assure you that all of this was more than we could handle, either collectively or individually. So where did that leave me? If I felt like God was only giving this to me because He only tests his strongest warriors, or because he knew I could handle it, I would be left feeling depressed and insecure. Because with that mentality, what do I do with the feelings of inadequacy and insufficiency? I have to internalize them and manage them on my own. After all, he wouldn't ask me to walk through a fire that I couldn't handle. Right?
Wrong. God desires that we admit our total and utter weakness and our need to rely on him. To cry out to him. To fall on our faces before him and acknowledge the truth of God's grace being sufficient and his power being perfected where we have weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When we admit our ultimate need for him, then we receive the strength that comes from God alone. A strength that helps you survive the worst day, week, or year. God may one day give you more than you can handle. Maybe he already has. But I assure you. I know a Savior who can handle anything this broken world causes.
"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.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV