Saturday, June 11, 2016

"I could never handle that situation"

Hand-tailored Hardships

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 
1 Corinthians 10:13 

Have you ever looked at someone going through a tough time and thought, Boy, I'm glad that's not me. I could never handle that situation. 

Sure you have. I have, too. And I'll tell you someone else who thinks that: my friend Charlene. She was recently in the hospital, having temporarily lost control of her muscles. She had to be fed and had to wear an indwelling catheter. That meant no trips to the bathroom (she carried her bathroom with her) and lots of discomfort.

Charlene later told me, "Joni, I don't know how you do it. I'm glad you're the quadriplegic rather than me. I love my independence."

I couldn't believe my ears. Charlene is blind and deaf. She was saying, "Hey, I can do the deaf-blind thing. But that's it; no quadriplegic stuff for me."

Which just goes to show that God will never push you passed your limit. He hand-tailors your trials. Don't think you can do the deaf-blind thing? The quadriplegic thing? Well, if you're neither deaf, blind or paralyzed, chances are, you are right. And if, by some quirk, you lose your hearing or the ability to walk, God will then give you immediate grace to match your need. 

As Romans 11:33 says, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" God knows - and He is the only one who knows - what you can bear.

No, God hasn't called you to be a quadriplegic, and you probably will never be blind and deaf. But He has called you to bear up under the burden He has placed on your shoulders. He thinks you can do it. Fact is, you can. 

And if you think you can't, take heart: that's when His grace shows up best. 

Father God, enable me to bear up under my burden by Your grace. Help me to remember You have handpicked my circumstances to accomplish Your purposes for my life. May I humbly submit to Your choice for me.


Joni and Friends


FYI:  1 Corinthians 10:13 Contextually is understood to be only about temptations, which are different than trials. Nevertheless, God may "hand-tailor our trials" if He is working on us for some reason, otherwise...

I believe that the LORD allows things and situations into our lives because we are in this fallen world.  I do not believe He thinks, "Oh, I will make her put up with 'this or that' because I know she can handle it."

When He does allow these hurtful, tough things into our lives, we have His strength, His comfort, and His wisdom through the Holy Spirit.  We are never alone!

We may be tempted to look at other's troubles and think, "They can handle this." But in reality, the LORD gives each of us the ability to "handle" what comes into our lives.  He gives us Himself, and He is how we can handle whatever comes. 

Life circumstances can be ruthlessly tough. When we choose to seek His face in our good and bad times we will draw ever closer to Him, deepening our precious relationship with Him.

Isn't this what we desire most?

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