Don’t Waste a Crisis
One of the most misquoted verses you’ll never find in the Bible is this one: “God will never give me more than I can handle.”
Huh? Really? Where’s that one? Poverty, genocide, war, failure, mental illness– people are given more than they can handle all the time!
Read more of John Ortberg’s thoughts here: Don’t Waste a Crisis
I have been thinking a lot about suffering and the way God wants us to look more like Christ. This series on the beatitudes has been pretty intense. Volitional sadness, Bruised Reeds, Dismantling Enmity. Jesus keeps putting his finger on stuff we know is there. Jesus keeps saying– don’t run from this. Face it. Let me walk with you into it. Ask me to forgive it. Ask me to heal it. Ask me to bring restoration.
I’ve wanted to believe that God won’t give me more than I can handle.
But I see him doing it all the time.
I’m tempted to be mad about it. But Jesus keeps grabbing me– ‘it will go well with the one who…’
God isn’t at work producing the circumstances I want.
God is at work in bad circumstances to produce the me he wants.
March 2, 2011 @ 1:50 pm
As I was reading this thought to myself, isn’t the whole point that He wants me to rely on His strength anyway so naturally He would give me things I can’t handle on my own. So utterly logical. Unfortunately that logical part of me doesn’t rule the majority of the time. More unfortunate still, God knows my default mode is self-reliance. So in some ways I need the situations I can’t handle on my own so I can build the muscle of relying on Him for the things I *think* I can handle on my own.
In reading Experiencing God recently, it helped change my perspective a little. Talking about how God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Blackaby talks about (paraphrasing) how God was working out His will for Israel and He chose to use Moses as part of the plan. I know personally I tend to look at things on a more micro rather than macro level most of the time. For example, in this scenario (and even more so in my own) I typically focus on how God was working out His will for Moses rather than His will for Israel. Perspective matters. When God is using us to carry out His will, He gives us what we need to do it. I think though it often happens only after we realize we can’t do it on our own and go to Him (remember Moses’ “surely not me” discussion).
Tying it back to the Beatitudes, that first one is always the key for me. You can’t really get to the others in my mind without it. We have to be poor in spirit, broken and utterly aware that we can’t do it on our own. In some ways I think the beatitudes are like many 12 step programs, you have to go through them sequentially (and sometimes go back to the beginning). Now if only I can live in that poor in spirit state, I’d be golden…or should I say, blessed.
March 2, 2011 @ 4:57 pm
Ugh. Hard to handle but so very, very helpful to remember the hope part. I found the conclusion of Ortberg’s article to be particularly encouraging:
“This is so because certain truths remain unchanged: God remains sovereign, grace beats sin, prayers get heard, the Bible endures, heaven’s mercies spring up new every morning, the cross still testifies to the power of sacrificial love, the tomb is still empty, and the Kingdom Jesus announced is still expanding without needing to be bailed out by human efforts.”
Really good for me to remember when I feel overwhelmed, tired and discouraged. So much so that I wrote it out on an index card to prop up on my computer. I love being reminded of the long arch of God’s plan. It makes the now fit somehow or at least lose some of its “this is just how it is” power.
March 3, 2011 @ 11:18 am
I can really relate to you on that whole logic part of our brains not being on most of the time. I have to constantly ask God to be taming my impulses.