Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday's Sentiments - What Exactly Can I Handle?

Saw this posted on facebook today:

"Whoever said, 'God will never give you more than you can handle' was an idiot."

And you know what? They were - if not an idiot - sadly mistaken.

The "idiot" in question is probably Mother Teresa*, who is quoted as saying,

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

That "proverb" is a mistranslation of 1 Corinthians 10:13, which reads: "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." Note that the word is "temptation", not "trial".

What if God did give us only that which we could "handle". What would that look like? What would that mean?

I'll tell you what it would mean in my life. Woeful, inept, sinful self-sufficiency. Arrogance. Complacency. An affront to the very God who made me and holds every breath of my life in His omniscient, omnipotent, most holy hands.

In the words of one blogger:

Over and over again in the Bible, we see men and women who are given far more than they can handle. . . .God is making it clear that we are not self-sufficient. We cannot just hunker down and power through every situation. And we cannot white-knuckle our way to holiness. We need Him. (taken from Blogging Theologically. Check it out!)

So, what exactly can I handle?

Apparently, God knows. And He will push and push me until I can't handle it anymore, until I run out of myself and run into the arms of Jesus, until I see the marvelous all-sufficiency of Christ.

Out of His great love for me. . . .

I am so grateful.

*note to my faithful blog readers - both of you - no, I am NOT calling Mother Teresa an idiot.

I greatly admire her work among the slums of Calcutta, sacrificing herself for those that Jesus called "the least of these". I'm just making a point. 'Kay?*


Aaron said...

Hi Heather, great post and thanks for the shout-out and quote from my blog.

God bless,


Pink Slippers said...

Found this post through blog frog. LOVE IT!

Heather said...

Thanks y'all - that's very kind.

CK said...

Humble thanks, Heather. You've put some perspective around an often abused expression.

Life often gives us WAY MORE than we can handle. Ask any mother of a medically fragile child. Ask a victim of sexual abuse. Ask someone who suffers from depression.

The key is that God can walk with us, and comfort and support us.

Melanie said...

This is great! Hopped over from blog frog...GREAT POINT! I have often heard this quoted (and may have said it myself) and thought "isn't it about temptation??" Yes, praise God that He sees our potential for trusting and relying on Him and not just our potential for doing it ourselves.

Melanie said...

Hopped over from blog frog...I love this! Praise God that He sees our capacity for relying on Him instead of just our capacity for doing it ourselves.

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