It happens to all of us at some point in our lives. Some of us more than others….
That drowning feeling that God doesn’t listen…
…that God doesn’t understand my needs, my wants, my heartache.
…that if God cared so much about me, He would make me a better person, a better friend, a better wife, a better mother, a better Christian.
…that God doesn’t care about me as much as I thought He did, otherwise, He wouldn’t let these things happen.
…that God doesn’t speak to me, answer me, or hold me close.
It happens to all of us.
But what if He does….
What if, in the midst of our struggles, our heartache, our pain, or daily life….what if He is speaking to us, answering us, loving us, caring for us?
I always hear the phrase, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”. I’ve even had people tell me it’s in the Bible.
The scripture that people often refer to for this quote is 1 Corinthians 10:13. It’s a great scripture, but it’s speaking of sin, not of the non-sin related struggles we deal with — death, pain, sickness, a broken heart…
In fact, it’s just the opposite.
God promises heartache, suffering, pain, persecution, hatred.
Some God, huh?
Actually, He’s amazing.
Because even during those quiet moments when you think you can’t go on….your heart still beats.
Even during those moments when your heart literally feels like it’s going to ache out of your chest…your lungs still take in air. Breathing in and out.
Your heart knows why it’s beating…
Your lungs know why they are breathing…
And the fact that your fragile body is still functioning on its own, it should be enough for you to realize how much of a miracle you really are. You’re still here…..we still have a purpose.
And yet, He is still silent…..
…and you’re still questioning His reasoning and purpose through every struggle.
Here’s the mind blowing thing…
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.
‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.'”
“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” [2 Corinthians 12:8-10]
Paul says in Philippians 4:13, that he can do all things through Christ.
Or what about John 15:5 where Jesus says “without Me, you can do nothing”….
Breathing in…..breathing out….heart still beating….
Paul knew it….
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” [Ephesians 3]
God will give us more than we can handle. Often….
We have a God that loves to love us, cherish us, give to us, and heal us. We have a God that performs miracles today, just as He did 2,000 years ago. We have a God who saves us more times than we can count, because, after all, He wouldn’t be protecting us if we were always confronted with what He’s protecting us from.
He still answers prayers. Even yours…
He still loves you.
He still hears you.
He still cares.
But His purpose has never, ever, changed.
….to bring glory to the name of Jesus…that He would be glorified through it all. Even when He is silent…
…to bring others into the knowledge of Christ, so that one day, they can enter through those pearly gates right along with us.
It’s hard to think about when we’re so selfish. We were born with the need to be needed…to be taken care of….to be loved. But have we forgotten what our purpose really is?
Your story can change someone’s life. That doesn’t mean you have to accept it. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to mourn, get angry, have a little talk with God about “why me”.
But it does mean you have to get back up. You have to fight the good fight…run the good race. It does mean that you are called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, even when you don’t want to be.
Your situation doesn’t define your identity in Christ.
Your situation refines your identity in Christ.
The quote above, “….even when God is silent”, speaks so much to my heart. The quote was found on the walls of a concentration camp. I can imagine it was scribbled there by the fragile, dirt caked hands of a Jewish man or woman….wondering when their last breath would be….where their children are….when their God would save them.
And in that moment, they felt their heart beating….their lungs rising….up and down….and they remembered….
Maya Angelou once said, “Listen to yourself, and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”
God does allow more than we can handle. The world gives us more than we can handle. And the hardest moments are the ones when the world is ringing so loudly in our ears that we can’t hear our hearts beating through the noise.
The hardest moments are the one’s where, we have forgotten about God…and yet we’re the ones who think He’s left us….we’re the ones who think He’s not answering.
But through Him, we have strength.
We have peace.
We have joy.
We have purpose.
So through it all, even when I am weak, even when the world piles it on….I will boast all the more gladly….because when I am weak, He is strong.
Through it all, I will aim to glorify God. Because after all, that is all He asks of me.
Through it all, I will remember that, maybe He is silent because I stopped listening.
…and maybe, just maybe, He is silent…because He is listening….
…and at the end of my days, no matter what the hurt, the pain, the heartache, the struggles….it will all fade away when He whispers in my ear…. “well done, my good and faithful servant”….
To the mother watching her child lay in a hospital bed, wondering when his last breath will be. Stretched to the max with tired eyelids and a broken heart. Whispering fragile prayers of miraculous healing that hasn’t yet come….
To the grandmother aching with pain from cancer, but still singing praises through it all….
To the sister watching her siblings family do a nose dive away from Christ, don’t go that way, soaking her pillow with tears every single evening, and ending her prayer with “be glorified”…
To the wife who just watched her husband walk out of their front door for the very last time, wishing she would have kissed him instead of yelling at him….there will be no more kisses…or yelling….as she quietly bows her head in mourning…. “Your ways are not my ways…there must be a reason”….
To the woman sitting in her bedroom, hanging her head, questioning her purpose…“I’m a bad mother, I’m a bad wife, why me, Lord?”….who suddenly feels her heart beating and her mind at ease….and she praises Him…gets up…and starts a brand new day.
…well done, good and faithful servant….well done….