Wednesday, July 27, 2011
You know you’ve heard it: “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”.
My general response to this can be taken from the following list:
Say what, Willis?
You shouldn’t smoke crack before talking, it makes you stupid.
The unspoken Look of Doom
Don’t step in that crap, it will stink!
“if only in my dreams” (yes, sung).
Thankfully, because there is at least a general unease amongst well meaning folks about my until now unpublished list, really nobody says that kind of thing to me anymore.
I was thinking about this idea today while running – in between thoughts of “I really hope I don’t get run over by a landscaping truck”-- this idea that God won’t give us more than we can handle. Honestly, I think the exact opposite is true. I think God ALWAYS gives us more than we can handle. If we could handle everything perfectly, we’d be God. Or Martha Stewart. Or just bored to tears.
Don’t get me wrong, in certain areas of life bored is GOOD. I like our oncology staff friends to be dozing with tedium when they see us. I like being able to manage that stuff…
But I digress. I think God piles life on for a couple of reasons.
One, I think He wants us to help each other handle the un-handle-able. I know I have dropped the ball on this too many times in my life, but I am trying to get better about reaching out to people when they are like Wile E. Coyote, flattened beneath the anvil that fell at an unplanned angle. I think God means for us to do this. I know it is a great strength to our family just to know that other people are thinking of us. Just to know that we have different circles of friends that overlap in their concern for the anvil in our life means a lot. I know my heart is often full for folks who have anvils that look like ours. I have to think this communal concern for each other is a way in which we do help each other handle that which seems too much to bear.
Together we can at least shift the weight of that anvil just a speck, in a way an individual cannot.
Second, and for me at least, harder, I think God wants us to be okay with NOT handling things well, with accepting support from others. This can be harder. Wile E. Coyote always works alone…granted, look at how THAT ends up! Still, I think a lot of people (ok, me) would prefer to err on the side of Martha Stewart, to be able to juggle disaster while making Venetian Cookies decorated with edible gold leaf. That would be MY preference, certainly.
And yet that is NEVER my reality. I can’t imagine edible gold leaf even tastes that good, really.
So we can help each other handle the unbearable, and we can receive that support. The anvil may weigh the same (and it does. It really is bone crushingly heavy), but we’ll keep on keeping on.
God does give us more than we can handle. I just have to hope that someday it’s less of a Wile E. Coyote moment and more of a Price is Right Showcase moment…”a trip to Paris…AND a set of snowmobiles…AND a lovely dinette set…AND an 87” flat screen tv!”. Hope springs eternal… ; )