Some may say, God gives you only what you can handle. But in my personal experience I have lived the exact opposite of the well known phrase.
What God gives has always been so much more than I can handle.
There was a time when I believed the old saying and in my times of heartache I pulled up my bootstraps, mustered up my strength and marched on like it was something I could handle.
But over time I have realized in all my handling and mustering God was not giving me what I could handle at all. Instead, God was bringing me to a place where I could find the end of myself. Where my strength, faith and hoped ended is where I found my need for others to come alongside me and hold me up when I couldn’t hold myself up any longer even with the sturdiest of bootstraps.
I found my need for something bigger than myself.
In pain and loss and suffering, God gives us more than we can handle, the weight is too big for us to bear alone.
But when God give us more, God also gives us Himself. In Him, God supplies more hope and more faith than we could ever muster up in our own strength and through His people God gives us so much more love than we could have ever even imagined for ourselves.
This week our family experienced a traumatic accident. My father-in-law, my husband’s best friend, was struck by a car at seven o’clock Tuesday morning.
What God has given us since that moment has been the end of everything we thought we could do in our own strength.
It is amazing for me to think of all the blessings I have personally experienced this week and I know my husband, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law can testify to so many more personal blessings as well.
God has given us the timing of this accident to happen when my husband was minutes away from where his father was when normally he would have been two or more hours away.
God has given us friends who are willing drop everything, loan their new car, their time and their energy to spend the night with my four young children so I could drive down and be close to my husband in his heavy moments of grief and uncertainty.
God has given us two people who held the elevator for us the same night as the accident as we were running to catch it. They asked us who we were visiting and as we shared our story they shared that their son was in the trauma ICU too from an accident which had occurred the day before.
God gave us them, complete strangers, to whisper the words, we will pray for Mack. We learned their son’s name was Tommy and we whispered we would pray for Tommy too.
I asked as the elevator was closing, because we had gotten off, where they were from and they said St. Louis, a beloved place to my husband and I as we spent our first three years of marriage there while he was in seminary. The couple held the door open to tell us they were saved by a Covenant Seminary student twenty years ago.
As we left them they told us their son was going to be okay, as was the other student from Asbury in the car who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. In that moment God gave both my husband and I hope.
God gave us that moment. He was the weaver of two completely different stories crossing paths at the same time to give the gift of hope for another day.
God has given me people to pick up tortillas for taco night, friends to sit with my kids while I gave my older child the regularity of volunteering in his classroom and friends to send pizza over because all I can do right now is throw pizza on a paper towel.
God has given us people who will pick up new guitar strings so my husband can play music for his father while he is laying in a hospital bed.
God has given so many visitors at the hospital. So many more than my husband can even count.
God has given us hundreds of people praying across the country for my father-in-law. So many texts, emails, phone calls and messages. More than any of us could keep up with even on our best days.
In these hard moments and in uncertainty, God has given us so much more than we can handle. The burdens and heartache have been too big to bear alone.
But God has also given us more prayer and more love than we can handle.
God has given us more love.
God has given Mack more love. And I believe it is the more love that keeps us going. More love than we can handle. Because love is bigger than burdens and hard places.
If you have prayed for Mack’s recovery, reached out, visited, brought groceries or have been a friend, I personally thank you for showing me how God can give me more burdens than I can bear alone but also more love than I could have ever imagined for myself.
If you are praying for Mack please also pray for Tommy and all the others in the Trauma ICU.
Thank you for praying and for giving more love than we can handle.