Sunday, April 10, 2011

“God never gives us more than we can handle.”

This is a saying I’ve heard frequently. Now I realize that it doesn’t make any sense.

First of all, this saying is used to help people feel better about stress or hard times. So we must assume by this use that God is the one handing us trouble.

It also seems to say that God decides when we’ve reached our “full” point for stress or trouble. Then he stops piling on the trouble.

But really, terrible things DO happen to people. They have loved ones die suddenly. They are diagnosed with scary illnesses. They experience natural disasters and all kinds of injuries.

Those experiences aren’t exactly the kind we just “handle.”

In fact, this saying is the absolute opposite of what God is, does or expects of us. God is not responsible for giving us trouble. God also isn’t our personal light switch for turning off troubles. Sometimes our troubles continue even after we pray for them to stop. Loved ones don’t come back from the dead. Illnesses don’t go away. Natural disasters and injuries require a long time for healing.

God also never promised that our lives would be trouble free, even after we’ve consecrated our lives to His service.

So if God doesn’t give us trouble, and doesn’t necessarily stop trouble and doesn’t promise a trouble-free life, then…what exactly does He do? And why should we pray to Him or believe in Him?

A lot of people wonder about this — especially in tough times. They feel alone. They believe that handling things is completely up to them. And at some point they experience things that go well beyond what they can handle. Nonbelievers watch people who believe in God experience just as many tragedies...sometimes more and many worse things.

So where is God in that?

Actually, He is everywhere.

If we look closely, God is the kind words of a friend...or a stranger. He is the green light. He is the perfect song on the radio. He is the blooming tulips and warm breeze. He is a child’s hug and a good night's sleep. He is all the things that are going right and all the people who treat us like beautiful human beings…who lighten the load and lift us up.

God is also the trial that builds our integrity and character. He is the critic who calls us to account for our mistakes. He is the warning bell to change direction. He is the close call. He is the mirror. He is the walk in the desert.

God can take our troubles and create good from them: Romans 8:28

He picks us up, walks with us through the storm and calms our fears: Psalm 23

One of the most frequent commands in the Bible is, “Do not be afraid.” This is because we are never alone in our tragedies and sorrows. Instead of relying on our own strength to navigate life, figure things out and endure every small and large catastrophe, we should surrender and rely on God.

He is there. He is just waiting for us to say, “I need you. I can’t do this by myself. In fact, I can’t handle anything. Please, take over. Show me what you can do.”

Then He’ll show you.

God doesn’t give us trouble. He gives us Himself. He never asked us to "handle" our life. He wants us to "hand" it over.

That's why He's called the Savior.