you will face more than you can bear
She said the words with an ashen face, her hands clenched in defeat. “I know God doesn’t give us more than we can bear, but I.can’t.bear.this.”
And I heard her. Every word. Every clenched fist. Every tear.
Life offers pieces of broken pain that far outweigh our ability to endure. This often believed idea that “God doesn’t give us more than we can bear”, comes, I think, from a verse that says,
“And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
Being tempted and enduring pain are two very different things. In temptation, God always gives us a way out. In pain, God often calls us to walk right through.
Since writing my book, I have had the privilege of hearing so many stories. The ones that tell of buried babies, broken dreams, cancer ravaging, and countless horrible steps through debilitating pain. The tales are filled with life-altering experiences that have left so many weak and lost in the wake.
I don’t want you to think that God hasn’t kept His end of the bargain. I want you to understand:
You will face more than you can bear.
It will happen.
Life is full of rough edges and harsh realities. You were never meant to battle them alone. And you don’t have to be strong enough.
Following God is not a formula to free yourself from pain and difficulty.
It never has been. Following God is about giving glory and honor to the only One who deserves it.
Even if you have to give that glory through broken whispers.
You will face more than you can bear. And when you’re standing in battle, depleted of your own strength, He will be the arm that keeps your sword held up. He will be the voice that whispers truth into lies. He will be the strength at your back, the defeater of the Enemy, the glorious Redeemer.
We can’t win alone. And isn’t that the truth that we so often forget? We flail about struggling and thinking, I should be strong enough. I should be godly enough. I should be able to find victory. I should be able to face life without crumbling.
No, friends, we shouldn’t.
Because if we could, we wouldn’t need a Savior.
Photography: JenniMarie Photography
This is such an important reminder. As one who has suffered with an anxiety disorder for much of my life and occasional depression in more recent years I really loved the end of this. Of course, there are many reasons to love that ending, but it has hurt my heart to hear Christians talking about other Christians with these specific limitations implying that if we were “godly enough” we wouldn’t have these problems. The Apostle Paul prayed three times to have his thorn in the flesh removed and God refused so that His strength would be made perfect in Paul’s weakness. Paul said he gloried in his infirmities that the power of Christ might rest upon him. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
If _God chooses_ to do that in our lives in the form of emotional and mental disorder or any number of other things, that doesn’t mean we’re somehow “bad people”. Jesus Christ came to give the abundant life to “bad people” through the atonement. If we are called to walk in our weakness so that His great strength might be shown, isn’t that a blessed privilege, albeit a painful one? Salvation is not a “once back then” experience. It’s a daily life in Jesus Christ. I need a Savior today as much as I did 30-some odd years ago when I “got saved”. Yes, I need Jesus. I need Him every day.
I need Jesus, my need I now confess,
No friend like Him in times of deep distress.
I need Jesus, the need I gladly own;
Tho’ some may bear their load alone,
Yet I need Jesus.
– by George O. Webster
Beautifully-spoken words of Truth. Thank you!
Yes, this has been so true in my own life as well. The funny thing is, when I come to the very end of myself, that is where His mercy – His righteous right hand upholding me – begins … and that’s where others can see the power of the Redemption, working through us weak vessels.
Just what I needed to hear today , thank you
Thank you so much for writing/posting this article! It came to be via email a few weeks ago and I opened the email on the exact day that I need to hear these words the most. Praise God for the ways in which He works!
Yes, yes, yes I believe this is the version of Truth that more folks need to know.
Thank you for sharing it with such heart & clarity.
So true! Thanks so much for this post!
I just “re-discovered” this blog..I was on here years ago when it was still YLCF. =)
Ohh! I LOVE this, Natasha! It is… so… true…
“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”-from Isaiah 43, one of my all-time favorite passages!
You are so right that it has nothing to do with our immunity/will-power/muscle tone/whatever, and everything to do with our God.
I seriously felt like I was going to die in the dentist’s chair today. It sounds so trivial, but in the moment I could not bear it. I screamed out to God silently. And lived to tell about it!