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No Boot Straps Here

16January2013

So, Monday was my first full day back in the office since December 6th.  I wish I could tell you that It was all rest and play.  I had quite a December.  It was packed full with nasal/sinus surgery, 2 bouts of a sinus infection, 10+ days with the flu, and I’m still treating/seeking physician care for eyes that have been red for 3 weeks.  I missed Christmas Eve worship.  My 6 year old son grabbed the bulletin, circled my name, and wrote ‘canceled’ next to my name. Ha.

Most of December and the first part of January has been hellish for me.  And yet, for too many others, they have had it far worse.  That’s the thing with pain and suffering.  It is all relative, isn’t it.  It is a dangerous path to walk when we begin to judge others pain.  It is best to avoid the practice of looking upon someone else’s struggles and wondering why s/he is in such disarray.

Too many times I’ve heard the expression (I’m sure I’ve even said it myself from time to time) that God never gives us more than we can handle.  This false wisdom is conjured up to motivate us that we can somehow pick ourselves up by the boot straps, that we have it (whatever it may be) inside us to overcome, overpower, and over throw any ailment, demon, or evil that confronts us.  Well, I’m calling hogwash on this absurdity.  Instead, let us cling to a theology that is far more accurate.  Nothing will ever besiege us that our God cannot handle!  How about that!  Because the truth is, I can’t handle the good stuff without screwing it up.  We are drinking the Kool-Aid of humanism when we think that it is us that conquers.  “We are more than Conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 It is only by Jesus that we accomplish anything, overcome anything, and preserver through everything.  And, it is through Jesus that even the things that conquer us are defeated!

It isn’t very hard to find things that are harder than we can handle, is it?  Look around.  Listen to your friends.  Talk with your loved ones.  All of us encounter more than we can handle—but not more than He can handle.  Isn’t that one of the great joys of Jesus.   Without Megan, my wife and I would be lost.  She is a part of our family—not in the blood relative way, but in the ‘we trust you and Nick to be our daughters Godparents kind of way.  Megan helps my wife with our kids everyday.  And when the kids are napping she helps around the house.  A while back she went to get a rag out of our laundry room.  Most of our rags are cut up baby blankets from the hospital.  With 4 kids, we were busting at the seams with those duck covered baby blankets.  She grabbed one, and made the comment in passing, “It is interesting how you use these blankets as rags.  Our hospital baby blanket is in our keep sake box.”  Megan and Nick are the most special kind of parents.  And it is the kind of parents that nobody wants to be—it is more than they can handle.  Their beautiful little Noah was born into this world and into the arms of Jesus on the same day.  Megan’s comment, far from malicious, was a powerful reminder to me to be grateful for the rags in my life.  And her and Nick are a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness.  Losing Noah has been, is, and will always be more than they can handle.  But it isn’t too big for Jesus.  And, by the grace and yoke of Jesus, they are finding their way forward.

I get afraid when I think that Jesus won’t give me more than I can handle.  I think it is a challenge to Him that he might just keep piling it on until I realize that handling it isn’t my job—it’s His.  Let Him handle your worries, concerns, pain, suffering, and struggles.  Trust me, He is big enough.

SMN@CCD

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One Comment leave one →
  1. seh permalink
    17January2013 13:13

    Amen!

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