As we finally have hit that point with our twins recently where they are transitioning from babies to toddlers, we have a house full of “stuff” that is of no need anymore. We have heaping piles of clothes, toys, and even medical devices that were used to keep our son Gideon safe for a season. As I was digging through some of the “stuff” I had a real epiphany. It dawned on me how in life we can allow temporary things to take up permanent residence in our being and systematically corrupt us. Like a computer needs to be updated, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions have to be updated as well. We have to be willing to part with “stuff” that temporarily helped us in the old season, to transition properly into the next. If we don’t, we can become an emotional hoarder. We begin to clinch tightly to emotions, thoughts, and feelings that negatively shape who we are and who we are to become. We can begin to see ourselves as only what the last season brought instead of what is in store for our next season. If our prior season was riddled with tragedy we can become so caught up in the pain that we think pain is all our lives will be full of. If the prior season is full of hurt and harm, we become so focused on suspicion, doubt, and being guarded that it is almost impossible to trust anyone, even God. Or how about the other side? When your last season was full of bliss and happiness and we allow pride and complacency to set in? No matter what your last season brought, let it be temporary. Paul, who wrote two thirds of the New Testament makes a bold speech in Philippians 3 beginning in verse 2 as he details his pedigree, resume, and challenges of ministry. He proclaims in verse 12, I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Paul refused to allow anything besides knowing Christ to become permanent. Life is full of temporary experiences and seasons, keep it that way!
In case you missed our incredible Easter services, here’s the video from Sunday. Take some time to watch and thanks to everyone who helped pull this off. Praise to God for His Spirit’s moving.
You ever heard the phrase: “God won’t give you more than you can handle”?
I’m sure you have. It’s cross-stitched on our grandmothers’ pillows and it comes out of everybody’s mouth in times of struggle.
The phrase is birthed out of 1 Corinthians 10:13 “…God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able…” But that’s specific only to temptation. In his book, “Plan B”, Pastor Pete Wilson of Cross Point Church in Nashville said this about this blog’s opening statement:
“Nothing could be farther from the truth…throughout life you will face one situation after another that will be completely beyond what you can handle.”
Haven’t you ever felt that way? Bills are piling up, stress of providing for family, death of a loved one, caring for an ill family member while trying to live your life, a bad divorce with kids involved, demands of school while student loans keep piling up, etc., etc., etc….. During all these times, the LAST THING I want to hear is “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle” because truthfully, HE HAS!!!
Wilson quotes 2 Corinthians 12:7 when Paul is talking about an unspecific “thorn in his flesh and messenger of Satan”.
“Three time I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness. Therefor I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Paul shows us exactly how we need to view these situations we can supposedly “handle”. WE CAN’T. Instead of running around all the time telling yourself over and over “you can handle this, you can handle this”, do as Paul did. Acknowledge our weakness, accept God’s grace, and cash in on the opportunity for Christ’s power to rest on you. His power is made PERFECT through our weakness.
“God won’t give you more than you can handle”? Let’s change it to “God won’t give you more than He can handle.”
Get the cross-stitching needles out Grandma. We got to make an adjustment to some of these pillows!