Friday, April 22, 2011

This week in history: the good news

Three years ago this week, my 14-year-old son had major open-heart surgery. Twenty-six months ago this week, my husband had major open-heart surgery. And last week, my husband had a second major open-heart surgery.

Three years, three surgeries, three artificial heart valves. Mercy.

There have been times over the past three years when I have felt as if it were all too much. And kind people would say to me, "God will never give you more than you can handle."

Although it's meant to be encouraging, there's just one problem with that statement. It's wrong.


Of course, the intentions of the folks who say those words are right and good. It's the statement itself that is wrong. It's actually a misquotation of a verse in the New Testament, I Corinthians 10:13, which says,

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

So there is a promise that you will not face more temptation than you can bear. But hardship, difficulty, adversity? No. There is no promise that you will not face more hardship than you can bear.

That would be very bad news if it not for one thing: You don't have to bear it. Jesus bears it for you.



One thing I've learned over these past three years is that I am pretty strong. I can handle quite a bit. But the biggest thing I've learned is that I'm not nearly strong enough to handle everything that happens. In fact, when I try to handle things by myself, things just get worse and worse. Then I'll remember the truth, and back to the feet of Jesus I'll go. What really amazes me is that He never runs out of patience with me.


This week is another anniversary, of course. Nearly two thousand years ago this week, the Son of God, who had come to earth to live as a man, offered himself as a sacrifice for us. The story is so familiar--Thursday's betrayal, Friday's crucifixion, Saturday's despair, Sunday's triumph. Every year we sing about it, we wear springy clothing and fill baskets in honor of it. It's a story worth telling and re-telling; the celebration is important.

But sometimes, in the messy details of life, we forget some of the truth behind the story. It can be so easy to feel as though we're having to deal with things all by ourselves. Even if we believe that the death of Jesus is enough to ensure that we can live with God in heaven for eternity, we sometimes forget that Jesus offers us salvation right now. "Eternal life" is not something that starts when we die; it begins now. Life with God is a present reality, not just a hope for the future.

He doesn't promise that we won't be given more than we can handle. He promises that we won't be given more than He can handle.

And that is good news indeed.

25 comments:

Dana said...

Great words of truth! Resting in Him and HIS power.
Blessings to you and your family!

Linda said...

Oh Richella...this is so true. Thank you for sharing this truth...even though people mean well...they are missing the point of the scripture.

I can't handle much at all...but GOD has gotten me and my family through so much over the years by His strength and power!!! Even the death of three grandchildren.

I am so glad that you have the Lord in your life...and a close relationship with Him. Especially since you have gone through so much in the last few years.

I hope that your hubby is doing good and recovering nicely.

May this Easter be very blessed for you and your family.

In His Love,
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

elowdermilk said...

What an amazing post! I recently found your blog and have been keeping up with how your husband is doing. I am so glad he is ok!!

I can tell that you are truly a good person and I am blessed to have found your blog.

Erica

Regina from The Queenly Abode said...

Thanks you for the wonderful post! We are still praying for your family!
Have a blessed Easter,
Regina

Erin @ Two Story Cottage said...

I hope you & your family have a beautiful Easter! I'm so glad your husband is doing well. I have been thinking about y'all so much! :)

Thelittlebrownhouse.us said...

Beautiful post.. I work at a church running the services, 5 services a weekend. Christmas and Easter are the two biggest times of the year. I find myself so busy at work, and I need to remember to pause in the midst of it and realize why we are doing it. It is not just a day, it celebrates a life/world/universe changing event. Thanks for reminding me - I need it! Especially when I have to get up at 4:30 am tomorrow to go run the sunrise service!
By the way - so glad you husband is doing well:)

Diana Trautwein said...

Oh, yes! Thanks for writing about this difficult to deal with misquote of scripture. In the last few years in our extended family circle, we've all lived through FAR too much for us to handle, more than we can possibly bear. Gladly, thankfully - we do not have to bear it alone. May your Easter celebrations be especially rich this year as you recall these painful anniversaries and realize again - you're on the other side of them. Thanks for your thoughtful words - so glad I found you through someone else's prayer requests for you!

BARBIE said...

I've often quoted this scripture this way to many. Thank you for shedding light on the truth of the scripture. So thankful that we never have to carry our load alone. He is able!

Cindy said...

Yes! I agree! Not more than HE can handle! Because honestly I cannot handle the fact that tomorrow will be the 4 month anniversary of my husband's passing (on Christmas Eve). I cannot handle the pain, the emptiness and the loneliness yet God is handling it so I can walk Through it!!
Thank you for this Honest post!!
Blessings for Resurrection day!
Cindy

His Doorkeeper said...

Great post Richella. So happy for you that Jack's surgery went well and he is home! I think we ALWAYS learn more about ourselves and the Lord's great mercy and grace when we are in the valleys than when we are on the hilltops, don't you?

Have a blessed Easter! He has risen indeed!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Richella, thanks for the gracious reminder that Jesus can handle it all. I have had to remind myself of that many times the last few months, with the adversity I am going through. It gives me such peace to realize that there is nothing I can do, so I might as well let HIM do it. So glad your hubby is doing better.

Have a blessed Easter, my friend!

Cheryl said...

That is very good news indeed. :) You are so right .. . He helps us through the hard times for sure. Nicely said.
~cheryl

hugmom said...

I'm so thankful for this post - you get it. I've shared the same thoughts with many people. This has become one of my pet peeves - people saying God won't give me more than I can handle. Personally, I can't handle one day, or one moment for that matter! I'm totally in over my head, but I have a great big God, who loves me and wants me to have to turn to Him!

Denise said...

Happy Easter Richella. Glad to hear your hubby is recovering well. May you all enjoy a blessed Sunday together today.
xxxx

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Sometime in the past couple of years I've come to realize that God ABSOLUTELY gives us more than we can handle at times so that we will fall on Him and rely only on His strength and power and not on our own. Thank you for clarifying this Scripture that is so often misquoted.

And I am so happy that you are all doing well. Happy Easter, my friend!

~Jessica said...

I shared this post on my blog and linked back to you. What an inspiration. I love it, continued prayers and blessings for your family. God Bless!

Cherri Engle said...

Very nicely said. I rejoice with you in the battles that you and your family have walked through in the past three years. Last year was a tough 'medical/health' year for my husband so I have recently been right where you are. 'Bearing' it and 'giving' it over to God. Blessings to you guys.

Nadir@StitchSense said...

Thank you for sharing this truth! I never liked it when people said that phrase b/c I knew it was wrong. I heard a sermon once taught about how if the Lord only gives us what we can handle then we would have no need for Him. We are to suffer more than what we can handle so that our God can show himself mighty in our lives! I know he has in mine. :-) I hope Jack is doing better. Be blessed!

Southern Gal said...

So glad everything went well and he's home. Such truth in this. He won't give us more than He can handle. No, He won't.

Buttercup Bliss said...

What a beautiful post! I really needed to hear your words today. Thank you :-)

Mrs.B said...

Amen!
Love the cross pics.

FrouFrouBritches said...

What a wonderful post Richella! It is all so true! I, too, am so thankful not to have to handle life's burden's without my Jesus.

I'm so thankful that Jack is doing well.

Stephanie said...

I haven't been abble to post comments on Blogger blog for several days (more than a week!!!). Just wanted to say I was happy to read your husband is doing well. Take care.

BrentDavis1 said...

Father thank you for Richella and the blessing she has been to so many. Please be with Jack and help his heart to be strong, to give him a long and healthy life. Bless her sons and make them a blessing to all around them. Comfort Richella with a confidence that you love her and will always be there for her. Lead her in your will. In Jesus' name, Amen.

erkarts said...

This was beautiful.

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