‘God will never give you more than you can handle’

Lincoln, Momma Haley and Great Grandma Boo at Uncle Jesse and Aunt Carlee’s Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony. July 2012

Dear Lincoln,

I recently wrote to you and explained how in that past few months we experienced 2 great losses in our family, great grandpa Buck passed away on June 28 and great great grandma Laurel passed away on August 7.  Now, just as most family members are beginning to adjust and move on with their daily lives, we found out yesterday that great grandma Boo has advanced cancer.  The doctors tell us that the cancer has filled 2/3 of her left lung and that the rest of her lung has collapsed.  She is only breathing with her right lung.  The cancer has also spread to her brain.  There is nothing that can be done for her, it’s too far advanced.  Next week after some more tests we find out how long she has left.

Great grandma Boo has spent the last few years caring for great grandpa Buck and she may have ignored how she left and probably didn’t go to the doctor when she should have.  The news was devastating to your Nana.  Her mommy and daddy mean the world to her.  It just seems so unfair right now and everyone’s questioning “Why God Why?”.  For some in the family, their faith is beginning to waiver.

In the Bible Paul tells us: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time that promise has become abbreviated to “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Like many others, I’ve derived comfort from these words, though I know God does not “give” me loss, pain and grief.

Let me stress that this verse does not imply that God won’t let you be stressed beyond what you can bear.
Or challenged beyond your ability.
Or pushed beyond your threshold.In reality, God gives you more than you can bear all the time. On purpose.
It’s only when you can’t bear the load that the strength of Christ kicks in…
and He becomes everything you need and more.

Count your blessings, we’re told, but it’s just not in our nature. We’d rather count our problems. Our species survived by reacting instantly to threats, and the ancient humans who stopped to smell the roses made easier targets for predators.

Today, the predators are mostly gone, but we’re still so primed to pay attention to bad news that we tend to ignore what’s going well. As soon as we solve one problem, we take the progress for granted and find a new cause for alarm. Every now and again it doesn’t hurt to take stock of just how good we have it.  I urge you to always count your blessings.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that there will be good times and there will be bad times in your life.  It will be up to you how you deal with the bad times.  For me I have learned to be thankful for what I have and not worry about what I don’t have.  I’m thankful for every minute I had with great grandpa Buck and great great grandma Laurel.  As I have told you before great grandpa Buck was the most influential person in my life, I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for him.  We will concentrate on the time we still have with great grandma Boo instead of dwelling on losing her soon.

You have been such a joy in all our lives, I treasure every minute I have with you.  Bear with us as we go down this path together again.  We will get through this as a family, with much love, understanding, and faith that we will all be together again.

I love you Lincoln, Puppa

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Easter Morning

One of the key purposes for Jesus’ life on earth was to be a human example of how God wants us to live. Jesus said, “Do as I do.” The most incredible part of this command is that it comes with an offer of the power to live it out. Jesus doesn’t just ask us to try to live like the Son of God out of our own strength – His resurrection gave us access to His strength. Today I meditate on the examples Christ left for us and reflect on how I can serve others in the most basic ways, just like Jesus did for His friends.