TITLE: No More Than You Can Handle
By Loree Thompson
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Why do I wrinkle my brow and cringe, ever so slightly, when someone says God will never put on you more than you can handle? I'll tell you why. Those who share this sentiment seem to always point to I Corinthians 10:13. Well...I disagree because, although the sentiment is grand and there is truth in that, the quote is out of place here. I read the words...see?
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; HE will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
My heart says God puts NOTHING on us but, rather HE offers HIS love, HIS mercy, HIS grace. Life happens. Struggles are on us because of the condition of the world since the fall. We must deal with illnesses and disease, crime and injustice, insecurities in the workplace, vehicle accidents - loved ones being tragically injured. The list of the things of life that are difficult to get through is endless. All this and more is part of the life we live. Difficult, oh my gosh, yes - sometimes seeming impossible to deal with, and YES, GOD is there to comfort us, HE gave us "THE COMFORTER" and HE uses our family and loving friends, even caring strangers to give us comfort "skin way", someone we can touch and be held by when we are hurting. God is not compassionate, HE IS COMPASSION. Of course it is not HIS plan for any of us to hurt, but we can grow from the experiences we find difficult to endure in this life.
What those words are saying, on the other hand, is that we are not alone in temptations. Somebody somewhere has been tempted as one might find oneself at times. These words are an encouragement for us to realize that we can overcome temptation, that God will provide a way, rather HAS PROVIDED THE way out of the temptations we encounter. It is our choice to fall to them, or to rise above and walk where HE set our feet on HIS path. Temptation can be a difficult thing to deal with, if we choose to see it that way. But if we write these words on our hearts, they are the first response. "Hey, wait a minute. This is a temptation to do something or say something I shouldn't. Somebody has been here before. Their experience helps me see this more clearly. I choose NOT to fall to this temptation, I choose to walk away, rise above, follow HIS plan." This is why we say, in the prayer given to us as a model, "...lead us not into temptation..." that used to make me wonder too. OF COURSE, HE would NEVER LEAD us INTO temptation! HE knows when we choose to walk into it instead of away from it, there are consequences that HE would rather not see us endure. I mean, do you enjoy spanking your kids? My heart says HE does not either. Isn't the parent-child relationship a mirror of our FATHER and "us kids"? Rather than see us endure consequences, HE gives us all manner of ways to walk away...just WALK AWAY...walk away from the temptation...walk with HIM.
That's what I see in those black words on this white page.
I ponder that...
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