If I hear this one more time, I am going to explode!
“God won’t give me more than I can handle.”
This is one among many misconceptions we believe and perpetuate in the Christian community. It’s to placate us when things get hard or when things don’t go the way we anticipate. Let me reassure you that life will become more than you can handle. People will become more than you can handle. Circumstances will become more than you can handle and the sooner we accept the truth is the sooner we will grow to become the Christ followers and Christian community God longs for us to become.
Do you remember WWJD movement? (what would Jesus do?)
It was followed by the FROG movement. (Fully rely on God)
But, there was never meant to be a FROM movement. (Fully rely on myself)
We were never designed to handle everyone or everything ourself. Self reliance gets us into trouble. We could say it’s what got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden and instead got them a one-way ticket to Isolation Island. It's easy to make up the rules when we live on Isolation Island even if it’s only in our mind. Problems arise when we are in charge because no one else wants to live on Isolation Island with us. I mean, you’re fabulous and all, but I don’t want to get stuck on your island with your stuff. I don’t want to get stuck on my island either. Disillusionment, heart break and loneliness are wicked life partners. They take charge of keeping the misconceptions about God alive. They deceive and confuse you. Sometimes they even dress up for the welcome party to Isolation Island! They convince you that you deserve better, you are entitled to be happy and you can make your own decisions. They will be committed life partners and will stay forever if you let them.
Let’s deal with one misconception: God does not expect us to handle every situation alone. Why would you not at least take advantage of God’s perspective or advice? I mean what a resource! He is omnipotent and knows everything. You and I have a limited perspective and give advice from our own minuscule experiences. God could, at the very minimum, give us an advantage or perspective we hadn’t thought of before and would never dreamed on our own. He doesn’t expect or want us to deal with life, people or circumstances on our own. But, He won’t crash our party. He will wait to be asked and invited in. We must make the decision to give up disillusionment, heart break and loneliness. Be very careful because these life partners can and will define who we are and cloud our judgment…even as Christ followers. I believe you could believe in Jesus and your salvation secure but live a miserable, disappointed life on earth.
We are limited. We have limited information and experience. There will always be too much to handle. It is in these moments when we turn it over to God. Surrender. Yield. It’s like a wrestling match and the strong man holds the weaker man with the death grip. He yells, “Do you yield?” If the weaker wrestler says, “No!” The strong man holds tighter and longer but still asks, “Do you yield?” It’s when the weaker man finally surrenders and yields that the grip is loosened and BOTH PARTICIPANTS are released.
You see, most of us never realize the Strong Man is totally engaged in our wrestling match. As a matter of fact, we are more likely to focus on the pain in our limp, embarrassing blow to our ego or our utter failure in losing the match, instead of, considering that it was the Strong Man all along whose arms were wrapped tightly around us and who’s voice was whispering in our ear.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28 NIV