Thursday, July 16, 2015

Even If...

Want to know what one of my least favorite things to hear from someone is?

"God never gives us more than we can handle."


If God never gave us more than we could handle, Daniel wouldn't have faced the lions, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego wouldn't have been thrown in the fiery furnace, Mary wouldn't have become the mother of Jesus, Noah wouldn't have built the ark, David wouldn't have beaten Goliath, I could go on.

God OFTEN gives us WAY, WAY more than we can handle.

It's not as if God comes up to each of us and gives us a choice of our struggles and challenges, each with their own difficulty ratings. You can choose a medical problem with a rating of 4 out of 5 for physical difficulty, 3 out of 5 for emotional, and 3 out of 5 for spiritual OR you can pick a financial struggle with a 2 out of 5 for physical, 4 out of 5 for spiritual, and 3 out of 5 for emotional OR a job issue with ratings of 2 of 5 for physical, 4 of 5 for emotional, and 3 of 5 for spiritual. Which do you want?

Instead it's more like God comes up to us as the tornado is ripping the room off our house and tells us that we will be going through a struggle that on a scale from 0 to 10 is going to rate about bungee-jumping-without-a-cord-would-be-less-painful...but it's okay because He'll be with us...

Except it doesn't always feel that way.

Sometimes it feels like we've been left out to dry and forgotten about. We pray and feel like there is no way our prayers can make it through the thick, dark clouds that seem to be endlessly hovering over us. The weight of everything we are dealing with feels so heavy we can't stand up straight. We can hope and trust and believe but things still don't get better.

And that is hard to understand...

The song Even If by Kutless does a good job of expressing in words how I feel. Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn't come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God, You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn't come

Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though you reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

There is another chorus and refrain and other musical verse things, but this is the core message of the song. That's what Daniel, and Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, and Mary, and Noah, and David got. When life doesn't match up with what we thought, the only things that we can KNOW is true is who God is. Jobs change, health changes, finances change, relationships change, God never changes.

And that's what I try to hold onto. I'll be honest, I haven't picked up my Bible in weeks. I've barely journaled. It's too hard. My prayers feel like they're hitting the endless clouds that have been hovering over Ohio this entire summer. I haven't been able to meet up with my Bible study girls in months because I feel like I'm constantly on the edge of a bad reaction. I'm tired (just not now...hello 2 am) of being sick.

Right now, heartache has been hitting my family like Hurricane Sandy. Healing has not come (yet). My dreams of this summer, my career, and life in general are undone and not what I had thought they would be. At times, the life that I knew feels like it has fallen apart.

But God is still God, and He is still good. He is forever faithful. His ways are not my ways, but He loves me more than I could ever imagine or deserve. And right now that's all I have to hold onto.

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