Tuesday, December 6, 2011

God does not give you anything you can't handle

As a pastor this saying drives me nuts, the Bible says with God the impossible is made possible, not with me the impossible is made possible. When I am in a situation that I cannot handle, it is turning my concerns over to God, trusting in God's love and power to comfort those I care about, and trusting that God can bring good news in the midst of the crisis is how I can make it through.
God does not give you anything you can't handle is usually said to people who have more than enough going on in their life such as a health crisis, a divorce, bankruptcy, and they turn to their friends for advice and support. If someone does give you this response they assume that God is in charge of everything that happens to you. God does not want us to experience these crisis, it is often hard to know what to say, they want to comfort us, but nothing more could be discomforting, God causes my divorce? God causes me to have cancer? God wants me to experience the pain of depression?
This is not the God I believe in, the one who cares for us, mourns with us, works for our well being. Other forces cause the pain, and are often a result of others efforts to harm not heal. We ourselves are responsible for harm through the choices we make, but this is not God's doing. We have been given the freedom to make those decisions.
The world is overwhelming, and if we take seriously the fact that we become depressed, angry, anxious, this is a sign of how just hard life can be some days. This is not the life God hopes for us,desires for us.
To me to say God gives us no more than we can handle is like saying we can stop a freight train by standing in front of it. We can be run down by life, God helps me find hope in the midst of despair, resurrection in the midst of death, joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the midst of chaos. I find the inspiration to create a different world, one in which the issues we face so huge. Steve

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