“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” ~ Mother Teresa
I read this quote the other day and laughed a little bit, but the more I thought about it, something about the quote didn’t sit right with me. I was thinking about the perception that a lot of Christians seem to have that God likes to load us up just to the point of collapse. They refer to the verse in 1 Corinthians and loathe themselves in self pity, hoping that we all feel sorry for them as ‘God’s science projects’. It may just be me, but when I think of this perception, I think of this big muscular ‘God’ guy shoveling rocks into our backpacks and telling us to hike up the mountain in the scorching heat. “Let’s just see how much they can take. Hehehe”
Now don’t get me wrong as there are times when I feel just about to the point of breaking and I cry out for help. I am just not convinced that it is God that takes us to this point. In fact, in this verse God is the route for escape, not necessarily of the trial.
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
There has been a lot going on in my life and in the lives of the people around me lately. My mother has just been diagnosed with cancer. My good friend just passed away. The economy sucks and it is making all of us panic. Is God loading it all on?
I recently spoke to a colleague who told me that God was perhaps trying to show us something through all this suffering. While I think God most definitely speaks to us in the mist of our trials, I do not believe God is the source of our pain. Thealogians get caught up with phrases like “God allowing this or that to happen” or “God causing this or that to happen”, while forgetting that there is a devil out there who wants to cause us grief. They tend to question God’s motives when they should be looking to Him for their escape.
Do we as Christians forget that the fall of man has given birth to sickness, disease, fear and chaos? Do we forget that God has come to bring life and bring it more abundantly? Perhaps we should spend our time seeking God’s help to rise above the evil that seeks to destroy us. After all, I see no example in scripture where Jesus caused his disciples pain to teach them a lesson. Rather, Jesus reached out a hand to provide healing in messed up situations.
1 Peter 5:8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.