Silly things Christians say
I bumped into an old friend the other day who hadn’t heard about Kristin’s illness. I filled him in on some of the logistics and shared a bit about how this has been a difficult season for me. Endearingly he encouraged me that “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I thanked him for the kind gesture, followed his lead on an appropriately manly half-shake-half-hug deal and went on my way.
Ok – I have heard that line so many times. To be honest, I may have even said that to someone at some point. It sounds good, right? “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” The problem is, it’s just not right. In fact it’s diametrically opposed to other things we see taught in the Bible.
I suspect people get it from 1 Corinthians 10:13.But seriously, take a minute to read it 1 Cor 10:6-13. The promise there is not about God not giving us more than we can handle. It is talking about temptation from the sin in this world and promising us that we always have a choice to choose to do what is right. It’s really not about hardships or trials at all.
Further, look at what Paul says in his next letter to that same group of people:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Cor 1:8-10)
So, according to Paul, we can clearly be burdened beyond our own strength and in fact, there is a purpose to such hardship. Sometimes we just can’t handle what is on our plate. God tells us that these times are given to us for a reason; to teach us to rely on him.
How we are handling things
There have been times this year that I didn’t handle things so well. I keep getting discouraged, when really…when you look at the big picture, I should be overwhelmed with joy. God really is good to us. This is a tough season, but boy are there still so many things to be thankful for. For one, there are wonderful people who bring us meals every other night. Talk about kindness! Meals 3-4 times a week for 4 months now!
But I’m not always so quick to be thankful. It’s been 4 months since we came home from the hospital and over 6 months since Kristin’s symptoms started. In some ways this last month has been the worst. She is improving, but you can only really tell if you measure it from month to month. She’s walking a good bit, but can really only be up on her feet for a minute or two before needing to sit back down. Last week she was able to get some bagels out of the pantry and put them in the toaster for the kids. Seems crazy, but her getting up to prepare any food for herself or the kids is new in these last few weeks. It’s encouraging for sure, but the time it’s taken to make these improvements certainly doesn’t feel fast enough.
In my last post (read it HERE) I wrote about how one of the top doctors in the country didn’t think that all of Kristin’s symptoms were associated with sarcoidosis. She does have sarcoidosis, but he believes there is something else that is causing most of her symptoms (like the fact that she was in a wheelchair for months). We spent a month chasing Myesthenia Gravis (MG) with specialists in NY. MG patients have increasingly weakened muscles upon exertion, so while they can do things briefly, their muscles very quickly fatigue. This sounded a lot like Kris but after multiple tests we can finally say we have ruled that out. We think that’s good news, but still just don’t know. She is on some medications that could treat a variety of things, so you never know if maybe there is something else going on that we haven’t figured out yet. Really it doesn’t matter though, we just keep taking it day by day. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow anyway, right?
Hope is on the move
Which is kinda where we are this week. Most of our discouragement lately has been that we can’t do anything fun with our kids these days, or that we can’t invest much in the church we are partnering to start. But last night something wonderful happened; we stayed up late talking and dreaming about all that we are going to do in the near future when she is back on her feet. We haven’t had a good dreaming session in quite a while. It was refreshing.
So I’d say, we are still down a bit, but hope is on the move in our house!
How about with you? Leave us a comment and let us know how you are!