Thursday, May 21, 2015

God gives us WAY more than we can handle

This morning I found myself simultaneously cooking 4 meals. Lunch for the husband and 2 kids, dinner for seven, chocolate granola bars for tomorrow's sale, lunch for our 20 person church. At one moment, my son asked me a question about his math problem and my daughter couldn't remember how to spell cylinder. While none of these things are monstrously stressful, the overwhelming few minutes of multi-tasking led me to a common motherhood mantra:

"God doesn't give me more than I can bear."

I whispered this "truth" to myself a few times as I stirred the peanut butter. Then I caught myself. I was comforting my mind with what feels like to be a Biblical truth but in fact is just a cute saying. While it might give me comfort in a moment, the truth is that it's not actually in the Bible. And if it's not in the Bible, I probably shouldn't be holding onto it with tight-fisted hope.

My hypothesis is that people are thinking of the verse that says,

"God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." (excerpt from 1 Cor. 10:13)

There is an important difference between the reading of these two verses.  The second verse is a glorious promise that we will never be crushed by temptation. God is faithful and will always provide a way of escape. He never leaves his children strangled by temptation.

In contrast, if we give into the idea that God doesn't give us more than we can bear, then when things get overwhelming we will look to eliminate tasks or people rather than introduce the strength of the Lord.  We will throw our arms up in the air to surrender and decide that never again are we having people over for dinner on a Tuesday night. Inadequacy and stress will capture our minds and we will forge our own defeat. At this point it's
important to frame inadequacy not as a defeat, but rather a rally call for the Lord to resume control.

Motherhood is a prime time to feel relentlessly self-sufficient. Rarely in a day does someone come up from behind you and offer to fold that laundry while you sip tea. Most of our day is wrapped in self-sufficient tasks that require us to man up. While our tasks require independence, the placement of our heart requires just the opposite. Our hearts need to lean into dependence on a Redeemer who has already claimed victory over every ridiculous sin our minds can think of.

God absolutely gives me more than I can handle. He gives us 5 children, homeschooling, cooking, working, being a wife, tragedies, broken arms, cultural missteps, frustrating land lords, and people who cut in line.

Feeling like we are sinking reveals that we have been swimming on our own for too long. The Lord wants to give us WAY more than we can handle so that we can see him show off, not just just show up. We need to treat God as not just our superhero that swoops down to save us in the nick of time. Instead, God is a King who has sent out an edict that says, "Don't worry, I've got this."

And that's a promise worth holding onto.

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