Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When God gives you more than you can handle.

I know, since you were a little kid in Sunday school class, you’ve heard that God won’t give you more than you can handle – and wouldn’t it be nice if that were true. You may have heard it in church on Sunday morning, and wouldn’t it be nice if it were true. You’ve probably had well-intentioned friends tell you that you can do it, because obviously God would never give you something that you couldn’t handle. And wouldn’t it be nice if that were true?

If you take the time to read through the New Testament, you’ll see that God gave the disciples a lot more than they could handle. Check out Moses, Hosea, Jeremiah and a slew of others in the Old Testament and you’ll see that they had more than they could handle.

But somehow they got through it.

12 steppers (groups such as AA, NA, EA, OA) in their “12 steps” say that their lives have become unmanageable, but that a power greater than themselves could restore them to sanity, and in the ‘promises’ are reminded that they will suddenly ‘realize that God is doing for [them] what [they] couldn’t do for [themselves]”. AA Groups are also reminded on a regular basis that ‘no human power could relieve their alcoholism, but that God could and would IF He were sought”.

Many years ago as a substance abuse counselor, I remember telling clients that just stopping drinking wasn’t going to solve all their problems. That would be a good start, but they needed something more than white knuckling through a desire to drink: and that God would be a good place to start.

A lot of the familiar Bible heroes were in some pretty dire circumstances, and there was no way that they could handle things. God obviously gave them more than THEY could handle. But they got through it. How?

The same way 12 steppers get through things, and the same way that we should be able to get through things: not by any human power (ours, or that of someone else) but through the power of God.

Those seemingly impossible situations suddenly seem a lot more possible when God is involved.

Bottom line: there are things in our lives that fit into the category of ‘more than I can handle’. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be handled. Just that we’re going to need some help.

Next time it seems like you’re out of your league, maybe you are. Instead of thinking that God won’t give you more than you can handle, maybe it’s time to think “I can’t handle this by myself, maybe I should turn to God and seek his guidance, maybe I should ask God for help, maybe I can’t handle it alone, but with God's help I can.

When there’s more than you can handle, God's probably asking you to come closer to Him.

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