This world of ours is so big and so small all at the same time.
Another mother paces the floors at 2 am with her wailing babe, exactly as I do in my living room. She cooks for her family, dresses her kids, wipes up crumbs and mops floors and does dishes. She loves her friends and family, she goes to the mailbox and the supermarket and sings on the way. Our lives and our hearts aren’t all that different, only separated by geography.
But there are other things that aren’t even a blip on my radar. Things that give me a pit in the depth of my stomach and haunt my dreams. Things that cause tears to fall from my chin onto my baby’s hair as I smooth it while she sleeps. Big huge horrific acts happening in pockets of the world, and all I can do is read about them via Facebook and pray. And other things too, happening in my own corner of the world on perhaps a smaller scale, yet life-altering as well. Things like cancer. Job loss. Miscarriage. Divorce. Failing grades. Poverty. Pain. Family feuds. Chronic illness. Despair.
Where is God in all of this? How do we trust Him in the midst of such a mess? How are we supposed to handle it all?
I have lost two babies. Jesus held them before I did and I will miss them for all of my days. At some point during both of these periods of loss, I was told – with the sincerest of hearts and the sweetest of comforting intentions – that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle. I hear this adage handed out still, in all kinds of situations and places, and it strikes a place in my heart that burns quietly.
Because I don’t agree.
I can’t handle the loss of children. Some days I feel I can’t handle my living children. I can’t handle my anxious heart. I wasn’t able to handle an unhealthy job and living situation, I couldn’t handle my mother’s cancer, I can’t handle the injustices facing the voiceless. But here I am, having “handled” all of this and more. Was it because God knew I could, so He piled it on? I don’t think so.
Does He give me more than I can handle? Absolutely, but God doesn’t give us more than He can handle. Do you hear me?
God does not give us more than He can handle.
Swap out the “we” for the “He” and now we’re onto it. One letter changes everything.
See, I can’t do anything on my own. I am a selfish, petty, wannabe wonderful, mess. But when I throw my whole self into Him … then we’re getting somewhere. It is Him, in us, equipping us, loving us, that allows for the handling of these situations. It is by His grace and patience that we handle really hard mom days. It is with His slow and gracious love that we are able to crawl out of bed when we want to stay under the covers. It is in His peace that passes understanding that we trust the voiceless will one day shout.
We trust and hear His still, small voice amidst all the things we can’t handle alone.
Our days in this big small world are so few and so full and can be so beautiful. Our short days, they can also be simply brutal. Glennon Melton calls them “brutiful” – beautiful meeting brutal. In the good and in the straight-up bad, He stands. He handles. He intercedes, He heals, He loves.
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
He is still with us, and He is still handling, and He is still in control when all seems chaos. We have to believe this – and I do – or I couldn’t handle anything at all.