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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: The Contemporary Concordance
By Connie Dixon
03/10/10


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Jessica dragged in through the back door, threw her backpack in the corner and slumped onto a kitchen chair.

“Hey Kiddo! You okay?”

“Oh Mom, you wouldn’t understand. Life is such a bummer right now.”

“What’s going on, Sweetheart? Why so down?”

“Well, for starters, I hate school, I hate choir…and I HATE BOYS!”

Jessica’s naiveté made her seem much younger than her seventeen years…and she could be very dramatic.

Kate, on the other hand, looked too much like June Cleaver for her own good. Thick blonde hair in a kind of page-boy cut, around 40ish, and ever the optimist. Today, she even dressed like June…cotton dress with an apron and high heels. The big difference – Kate was not a stay-at-home mom. In fact, her administration position at the hospital required her to attend yet another meeting in a couple of hours.

Kate removed her apron and threw it on the counter...then pulled up a chair next to Jessica, pleading with her.

“Honey, tell me what’s going on…you were so excited when you left the house this morning.”

“I know Mom, that was before I tried out for the solo. I’ve been practicing that song for three weeks and everyone thought I was a shoe-in for the part.”

“What happened Sweetheart?”

“Samantha Harris tried out at the last minute. She said she hadn’t really practiced but she tried out anyway. She was incredible, Mom. No one knew she could even sing, and come to find out she has this amazing voice.”

“There’ll be other solos, and you’ll get another chance someday, you’ll see.”

“That’s not the worst thing that happened. Right after class, Ryan walked up to congratulate Samantha on her tryout, and she asked him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance! Can you believe that? I was going to ask him!”

“Well, what did he say?”

“He said yes! He knew I was going to ask him, but he told her he hadn’t been invited yet and he would love to go with her!”

Kate took Jessica’s hand. “I’m so sorry…you really had a hard day, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I did. Then I started looking for that verse in the Bible that says God won’t give you more than you can handle, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked all during Math class.”

“Well, actually…it’s not a verse and it’s not in the Bible.”

“Yes it is Mom; they say it all the time at youth group, everyone always says it.”

“Well, that’s probably true…I’ve heard people say it too, but they don’t tell you where it’s found because it’s not in the Bible, trust me on this!”

“Really...Hmph.”

“Yeah, really. And you know what’s so interesting about that?”

“No, what?”

“Think about it. If God never gave you more than you could handle, why would you need Him? 1 Peter 5:7 says: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. If He didn’t give you more than you could handle, you’d never have anything to be anxious about, right?”

“Well, yeah, I guess.”

“And Ephesians 3:17 says, Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. If God never gives us more than we can handle, there would be no need to trust in Him, would there?”

“No, I guess not. But I have a question.”

“Yes, I’m listening.”

“How did you get so smart? I mean, it’s not like you’re some Bible scholar or anything. When did you start memorizing the Bible and getting all spiritual and stuff?”

“Promise you won’t laugh.”

“I promise.”

“Last week, I was talking to your Aunt Paula. She was going through some pretty hard things, and I told her, don’t worry, you’ll get through this. God never gives us more than we can handle.”

She said, “That’s not true, it’s not in the Bible.”

“We had this big argument and I set out to prove she was wrong, so I googled it.”

“Well?”

“Well, she was right. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Somehow that verse got twisted into a bumper sticker. Now everyone has it memorized, but it’s not Scripture. The good news is: *even though we have to go through a lot more than we can handle, Jesus is in us and He’s bigger than all of it.”

“That’s really cool, Mom…can we go to Starbucks?”

(John 16:33)


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This article has been read 371 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/11/10
I really related to this story as I too believed that story for so long then I realized only part of the verse had been quoted and people left out the most important part-Jesus. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Great message.
Jackie Wilson03/13/10
Great message, but my favorite part was the last line - such a typical instantaneous switch of focus!
Dana McReynolds03/14/10
How true! People quote this all the time.
Lyn Churchyard03/14/10
It's funny how people always tell you, "It's like it says in the Bible..." or how they quote a Bible verse and say, "That's Shakespeare by the way."

Jessica is lucky to have such a wise mother-problems shared and maybe even a Starbucks to boot.

I like this, well done.
AnneRene' Capp 03/15/10
Enjoyable story. I could so relate to this. Smooth, realistic dialogue, and you cleared up a very misunderstood scripture. Amen!
Joy Bach 03/16/10
This is excellent! I was told that my whole life. Only recently did I come to realize it wasn't true. Good dialogue (which I'm not so good at). Very realistic.
Sarah Elisabeth 03/16/10
Great dialogue between the two. I'm thankful to be blessed with a wise mother!
Pamela Kliewer03/16/10
Great story... thanks for clearing that up! I had never really thought of that before and needed to hear it!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/18/10
Yay, Connie, congrats on making it to the top fifteen in Advanced!
Ruth Stromquist03/19/10
Love the way you wove excellent teaching into a story format that even teens would enjoy reading, I'm betting. Well done!