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Posts Tagged ‘trouble’

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God won’t give us more than we can handle …

Tell that to the mom nursing her child through the horrible effects of cancer treatment.

Tell that to the student who has dreamed all their life of becoming a doctor, and has not been accepted to a medical school.

Tell that to the man, whose wife, and mother to his three young kids, has just died in a car crash.

Tell that to the woman whose husband has just declared that he no longer loves her, but is leaving her for another woman.

Tell that to the father whose son is a drug addict, living on the streets in a large city, selling his soul to feed his habit.

Or to the twelve year old who has been enslaved in the sex trade.

Or to the family whose every earthly belonging, home included, was swept away by flood waters.

Where in the Bible, are we told that God will not give us more than we can handle? Is it New Testament or Old Testament teaching? Did Moses say those words? Or Paul? Or Jesus? Maybe it was Job?

The closest thing to that rather pithy saying would be found in 1 Corinthians 10:13,

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
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 stand up under it.”

Of the numerous commentaries I consulted, there were also numerous interpretations of this teaching.

When I went back to read the first thirteen verses of the chapter, I started to develop my own commentary, and it had little to do with the words that could act like the salt in the wounds of the one who feels their cup is full of trouble. The words,

God will not give us more than we can handle …

Those first thirteen verses refer to the temptations which are common to man, through the history of the world. Temptations like greed, lust, envy, gluttony, laziness, pride, wrath (I am sure there are more, but I figure the seven deadly sins are about as common to man as we can get). In this passage we are warned to not give in to these temptations, and encouraged that God will provide a way so that we can resist such evil.

These temptations are very different from troubles inflicted by others, or to our human bodies. These temptations have nothing to do with a little girl, in India, being sold into sexual slavery.

IMG_1618-0.JPGI will no longer, ever, use that phrase, like salt in the most painful lacerations of a human soul, for I believe it to be a self righteous salve that can cause pain to increase even more. It does not offer comfort, but demands that we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

Instead, I will lead the hurting to words which are, indeed, from God’s Word,

I have told you these things,
so that in me you have have peace.
In this world you will have trouble,
but take heart
I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

As Jesus was delivering the message of his own, impending demise, to his disciples, he tells that the words above. They are the aloe to a bad burn, the soothing comfort of love and of hope, in response to a very real reality …

You see, in this world we WILL have trouble. All of us, at some time, guaranteed.

But,

in the heartache, in the desperation, in the loneliness, in the pain, in the despair, and even in death

Jesus reminds us that He has already overcome the world.

Victory may not be ours, here on Earth, this very day,

but He has won the battle, and we live with Eternity in our hearts.

Hope, not demands.

That is the example he has given us.

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I-Am-Not-A-Victim

A conversation with one of my daughters recently, has been going through my mind, penetrating my heart, my soul.

The conversation related to her studies concerning the pursuit of equal rights of women in history, but it was my own mantra (belief) that surfaced in that conversation, and in my thoughts since.

My mantra is this :

I do not, nor ever will, live life as a victim.

So, to my three kids, who I love more than words could ever communicate …

Know this … I have :

whined
complained
cried
shook my fists into the air
said, “why me”
said “it’s not fair”

And then I move on.

Oh, it might take me days, or weeks … or years

but I do eventually

move on,

because

I will not, nor ever will, live life as a victim.

Live is not fair … this is so true!

You WILL experience

hurt
rejection
persecution
deception
hate

in your lives.

Expect it!

But do not ever live life as a victim.

You might be treated unfairly for:

your gender
your hair color
your cultural background
your language
your religious beliefs
your athletic abilities (or lack there of)
your political views
your age
your education
your lifestyle choices
your family

or because you wore the ‘wrong’ color t-shirt.

This is part of life.

But do not ever live life as a victim.

You might experience unfairness at the hands of :

your brother/sister
your best friend
your neighbor
your classmate
your teacher
your politicians
your country
your community
your church

your mom

This too, is part of life.

But do not ever live life as a victim.

Being treated unfairly will make you :

angry
vengeful
heartbroken
sorrowful
depressed

And this is all normal, expected, understandable.

But do not ever live life as a victim.

do not give your anger fists
do not blame
do not sit in your sorrow
do not allow the unfair things of life …

… to steal your life!

Do not ever live life as a victim.

keep dreaming
keep hoping
keep breathing

My kids, who I love enough to tell you this truth that life is just not fair …

When life throws you those expected lemons, make lemonade. You might not even have enough sweet sugar to make it palatable, but it will quench your thirst.

Do not ever live life as a victim.

And … please remember this …

this life, these years of one to ninety … they are not eternity!

This earthly life does not even touch our eternity to come.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.
In the world you have trouble and suffering,
but take courage–I have conquered the world.”

John 16:33

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