Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Today's question: God will not test us with anything more than we can
handle. Is this most certainly true?

Wow. There are so many ways to poke holes in this one, it's hard to
know where to start. I could begin with, is this scriptural? Or, what
does scripture actually say? And in what context? That, however,
would require some research, 'cause I don't actually know where this
comes from. Paul? Jesus talking to his disciples? I could go and find
out, but that would be a led-into-temptation situation, since I am
trying to write a quick post and then get back to the paying work
that is supposed to be my priority today. And if I go off to search
the Bible, I won't get back to the editing job any time soon. The
dictionary presents distractions enough.

Lots of stuff in life feels like it's more than we can handle. (I
will refrain from citing personal examples here.)

Even people of faith can be overwhelmed by their troubles. They sink
into depression or bitterness. And how could it be true that God
dishes out the really tough stuff only to the strong? Less room for
God to act if that's the case. And anyway, if the really tough tests
go to those with a strong faith, I'd rather have a weak one. Why
should I aspire to the honors level classes in endurance?

One of the problems with this statement is that it's got blaming the
victim built into it. God doesn't give us anything more than we can
handle--with his help. So when you're feeling baffled and beaten by
life, the problem is your faith--you're not relying enough on God.
Which is your fault.

Christ on the cross got pretty low. He had his good moments,
sure--"Today you will be with me in paradise" and "Mother, behold thy
son." But there were some awful dark ones--"My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me" and finally, "Into your hands I commend my spirit"
which is to say, "I give up." Yielding, like you do in labor, a
process that ends in new life.

It's better than bearing up and fighting to handle things because
that's what strong Lutheran people of faith do. Maybe the faith is in
the yielding.

No comments: