Wednesday, October 2, 2013

When You Want to Punch a Christian in the Face

"Don't Worry God Won't Give You More Than You Can Handle!" -Joe Christian
*pfffffftttt* Whatevers.

How many times have you heard that line from a well-meaning Christian friend in one of your lowest moments and you couldn't think of anything that would be more cathartic than punching him/her in the face?

Ran across this great blog post recently confronting this statement and found it surprisingly refreshing: "Confronting the Lie: God Won't Give You More than You Can Handle".

I think there are plenty of times that God will give you more than you can handle.

Way more.

I felt it in the touch and go moments of Kim's cancer. I felt it in the darkest moments of stress, anxiety and depression. I've felt it way more than I'd like to admit. Yes, there are times when I feel like Paul when he says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) but there are more times when I resonate with Paul when he writes:
"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death... -2 Cor 1:8
Sometimes God WILL give you more than you can bear..."far beyond your ability to endure" and to the point where you "despair of life itself"...

These past few weeks I discovered my grandmother (the family matriarch) has a tumor from liver cancer that is growing rapidly. She will soon be experiencing pain and likely placed in hospice care. My aunt, an overseas missionary, has a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia which is like a blood cancer and is not responding well to treatment. My niece is dealing again with Grave's disease and hyperthyroidism which we thought was in remission. Along with other friends and neighbors that are dealing with cancer and some serious health issues and friends like Joe Park who are still grappling with the loss of loved ones.

Life is hard. Please lift them up if you would. Yes, I've experienced what feels like this "sentence of death" and they probably have too. But thank God Paul does not end there. He actually explains why all these horrible things were happening to him...
 "...but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." -2 Cor 1:9
It's not about "handling it myself"...it's about "dying to self".

It's not about having a sense of entitlement for the "good life", it's about having a source of abundance from the "resurrected life".

It's not about us and our happiness...it's about God and his glory.

This is the whole POINT of Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
This is the whole PICTURE of the water baptism. It was meant to picture first the death (when you are submerged under water) and then the resurrection (lifting up out of the water) you find in Christ.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. -Rom 6:4
This is where true life begins and this is why Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and THE LIFE."

This world understands pain and suffering. What it does not understand is how someone can still find joy and peace in the midst of pain and suffering. Perhaps God has called you into this momentary darkness so that you could shine His marvelous light. The world is looking for an answer and you can either point them to it - or seek your own.

Peter & Kim

6 comments:

  1. Great post Peter...thank you!

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    1. Thanks Kindra - hope your family is doing well!

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  2. As a former Graves' disease patient, I feel for your niece.

    Lynn

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  3. I read this post a while ago and it has stuck with me. Rereading it again today. Always need to be reminded that my life wasn’t redeemed to be comfortable, easy & fun...but it was redeemed at a great cost. And that cost and love of God implores me to live in obedience, reverence, fear & love for Him. Thanks for your good words, bro. =)

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    1. it’s Esther by the way...you are my real bro, bro.

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