Monday, June 11, 2012

An Incomplete Phrase

Reading news stories today, I was once again struck by how well-meaning people, in the midst of trauma, claim "God doesn't give we/us more than we can handle."  I think often people say it in order to affirm their faith in a benevolent, loving God who will give them what they hope the outcome will be.  It is to comfort themselves, give themselves something brave to say as they face the awful thing.

While I do believe God is loving, and benevolent, I also believe we can't see what He sees, thus as humans we define "love" in a completely different way.  Our interpretation says that if we love someone, we want them to be happy, healthy, etc.  But that's not true love. It's opportunistic. What if being unhappy or unhealthy for a season is what God has called them to?  What if everyone prays for healing, but the person dies. Does that make God wrong? Or our prayers not good enough? If we love someone the way God does, we want the very best for them as defined by God, not by human desire.

Romans 8:28 says, 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

To repeat that "God doesn't give we/us more than we can handle," gives great comfort but indicates an incomplete understanding of how that works.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

The idea here is that in order to claim that promise -- that God doesn't give we/us more than we can handle, we have an active part in the relationship to play.  We are to seek Him, call upon Him, talk (pray) to Him, and we are to do it with all our heart.  Mark 12:30 says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

This comes directly from the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 6:5, which says, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

I love The Message version: " Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!"

And that's just it.  If we aren't loving God by seeking His will constantly, we are not in fellowship with Him. And if we aren't in fellowship with Him, we have no idea whether the bad things that are happening to us might be potentially lessened, or more thoroughly understood.

So what people ought to say is, "God doesn't give we/us more than we can handle with His help."

1 comment:

Sweet Tea said...

I like the incomplete phrase better, but scripturally I think you're right on! God grows us up through various ways - all of them HIS ways!

It's hard to post here because of the need to recopy those absurd letters/numbers we must recopy. Ever thought of adjusting your setting to just need your "approval"? I think you'd get many more comments, just sayin.