As one who has had her share of trials (read 7 moves in 7 years, 5 different jobs + getting a husband through a masters program & additional training program), do this girl a favor and stop telling people, good hardworking people, that God will not give them more than they can handle. Because all of that parenthetical was way more than I could handle, even if it wasn’t all at once. First of all it’s not biblical. Here is what is:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 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. –1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
God will not give us more temptation than we can handle not only that but He will provide a way out. But everyday is more than I can handle, not in my temptation to do something wrong but in my everyday faith. My faith has been tested to it’s core more than I care to count, the things I have asked of Him are primal and embarrassing to admit in a world of “if you just had more faith”. Really? In a world where Christian Evangelicals live in big fancy homes, and look spotless all the time. It’s easy to fall into the belief that I simply don’t have enough faith. Growing up around successful people who are Christians it makes you wonder at some point if you have done something wrong, if you’ve gone off track. I’ve wondered that many a times.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. -Luke 12:6-8
Life is hard, depending on your circumstances everyday could be a test of faith. Instead of saying have more faith. Let us be servants to our neighbors, providing them with the supportive community they need in these hard times. We currently attend a Brethren church here in Central California and one of my favorite hymns we sing regularly is Let Me be Your Servant, the first stanza is the most meaningful to me:
Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let me be your servant too
I found in my times of upmost needs it was my ‘apathetic to religion’ friends that reached out to support me. Not because they needed to go a ‘good thing’ but because they had been through trials, they knew the struggles we were experiencing. Because of the experiences I had in the last 8.5 years, I am willing to help and be there for those who choose to let me in.
If God never gave us anything that tested our faith, hope, our wallets, patience, then why would I worship or rely on Him?
I often wonder if growing up without trials is good. I’m sure there is some science or theory out there saying it can scar kids, or cause them to grow up to quickly, knowing the pressures of what their parents are going through but could it also give them a different perspective on life as an adult? Without them being resentful for not having the childhood of their dreams? I don’t have children, I can’t imagine what our trials would have been like with little ones. How much more pressure we would have felt when jobs were lost, or told to find new homes. My biggest trial before being homeless? Living on an extremely tight budget while Travis was in his masters program? Having our home robbed the week before Christmas? Without those experiences, without those hardships would I have the faith I have today?
Here is what I can tell you I am in no place to judge and neither are you. I love the saying:
Often attributed to St. Francis there is some debate on it’s true origins. I like this quote because I don’t believe that people come to know Jesus through a door to door sales pitch but through others living the gospel that Jesus lived with his disciples. Loving on those society has cast out just as Jesus did; feeding the hungry, healing the blind, standing up to the establishment.
So, yeah He is going to give you more than you can handle and that is ok because we have the church. Your church may not look like a building, it maybe friends that support and pray for you. It maybe a city mission that provides you with the ability to love on others when your cup is overflowing with the opportunity to provide to others. Or it could be a small group that has grown over the years; in faith, children and friends.
Whatever your church looks like be sure to preach the gospel through your life and if necessary use words.
What does your church look like?