Friends, it’s been a week. You know one of those weeks- already jam packed from start to finish with meetings, work, school stuff, and Christmas festivities. I am not kidding; I have had something I was supposed to get done every day this week.
On Tuesday, after wrapping up my second meeting of the day, I got a call from my kid’s school saying that my middle child, Ashton, just got sick in the library. Good grief, right? I was not shocked in the least just because there is so much illness going around right now, but it just had to be this week?!
Of course, these things cannot be controlled, so I left work and headed to pick my sick baby up. On the way, my phone began ringing again. I glance down and it is my doctor. I pick up and she proceeds to tell me about some tests that came back abnormally. Can this week get any worse?
I am trying to navigate the road to school to pick up my sick kid, while trying to navigate the news I just received in my head. While also, thinking about everything else I need to get done this week. I take a deep breath and begin praying. It becomes clear to me very quickly that none of this other stuff that I had planned for the week matters. I need to reevaluate my goals for the week and right now that is focusing on the health of my family.
I am sure you have all heard the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I have found myself relying on this saying so much throughout my life. Every time my life began to spiral, I would just think, “Well God won’t give me more than I can handle, so I guess I will make it through.”
The truth is, there is so much that we absolutely cannot handle, at least not on our own.
I mean try telling a family member that just lost their mother, father or child to cancer, “Oh, well God won’t give you more than you can handle. You’ll be okay.” Try saying that to a wife or husband who just found out that their significant other has been unfaithful, unraveling all future hopes and dreams that they may have had for their family. Tell that to a daughter who just had to bring her mother home on hospice and is having to spend day in and day out being a caregiver for the one who used to care for her, slowly watching them fade away as the hours pass, just waiting for the second they take their last breath.
I know sometimes we find ourselves repeating this phrase in hopes of comforting others who find themselves in trying times. Sometimes it may be taken well, sometimes-maybe not.
I wonder how Job would take that news after he lost everything- his children, his fortune, and his health. What would Paul say if you told him that after he had been beaten, stoned, imprisoned and deserted? How would Joseph react to those words after his own brothers sold him into slavery?
The truth is, we are not meant to handle many of these things. There is a lot that we cannot rely on ourselves to overcome. Whether it be loss, temptation, rejection or any of the other thousands of hardships people experience daily.
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 says, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”
You may find yourself thinking, “How am I going to make it through this life, this year, this day, this hour, this next minute?”
Rely on God. Cast your burdens on Him. He can handle it and with His help, so can you.
As I was praying, I could feel the weight of those burdens slowly lifting and I was able to clear my mind of all the things that had enwrapped my mind- the checklist, the worries, the questions.
I gave it all over to Him and I was able to sit in relief even under the not-so-great circumstances.
By going through life, encountering hardship after hardship, and thinking, “God won’t give me more than I can handle,” I was setting myself up for disaster, disappointment and possibly resentment. By telling our loved ones and friends that, we may be setting them up for failure, as well.
When we find ourselves trying to navigate through the darkness, we may wonder why God has given us more than we can take or that He is testing you or that He has forgotten you. This is Satan. He comes to steal, tempt, kill and destroy. Afterwards he will make you question yourself and your faith, perhaps making you blame God for giving you more than you can handle.
But God comes to save us.
So, pray to God- pray for your family, pray for your friends, pray with them. Like Job, Joseph and Paul, keep your faith. The Lord never left them, through these hardships they endured and the same goes for all His children.
I will survive this hellacious week and all the weeks to come because I know He’s got this!
(Paige Nash is a wife, mom and digital journalist with Webster Parish Journal.)
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