Friday, April 13, 2012

A Hard Place

Last night at my son's school program, I ran into a sweet lady that I have always admired...Mrs. B. She is an older mom, adopting 2 children through domestic adoption, she is a foster mom, and highly involved in our kids school. She gives hugs to everyone she meets and seems to always have a word of encouragement to offer. We were just able to speak briefly last night, but in that short time, I found out that she is struggling with her son acting out (issues related to his life before adoption) and she also has found out that she has a disorder (I forget the name) where the skull did not fully close and the brain begins to drop down into the opening. This creates the very real possibility as the condition worsens for a fatal bloodclot or stroke. Her only option is surgery, which is always scary. In our conversation, she commented, "I know God doesn't give us more than we can bear." With a half smile, it seemed like she might not feel exactly sure about that.

As I lay in bed last night, thinking about my struggle with Alopecia, my sister's debilitating struggle with excema on her hands, another sister's desire to marry and start a family, my mother-in-law's years of chronic migraines, my sister-in-law's mother being treated for her 4th bout with cancer, I wept. Why has God allowed these things in our lives, with no apparent reason, and no ready answer after years of praying?

It is no coincidence that this morning, in my reading, I came across the following in a book called "Kisses from Katie." It is an exerpt from her journal.

"Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle." People repeat this frequently; I heard it when I was growing up and I hear it now. It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true. But I don't. I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives. I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this "more than I can handle." Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious. He reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives. And as I surrender these situations to Him, watch Him take over and do the impossible, I am filled with joy and peace--so much more than I can handle.

Today, I am trying to relinquish and yearning for joy and peace, for myself and for those I love who are also struggling with the unclear, "why?"


Peter and Nancy said...

That belief is a spiritual pet peeve of mine! Anyone who looks at the lives of many people in the Bible (especially the prophets) will quickly realize that God often gives us WAY more than we can handle. I love your response though -- honest tears, then realizing all we have is Him. I'm sure you've heard the C.S. Lewis quotation about "God whispers to us in our joys, but shouts to us in our pain. Pain is the megaphone he uses to reach a deaf world." I paraphrased, but it's been so true in my life. The times I've been closest to God are during my greatest difficulties. Thanks for your transparency here.

Denise Portis said...

needed this... thank you.