Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hard to Handle

This much coffee is a sure sign I am not handling anything...

I want to talk about something chewy again.
Of course I do.
I chew on lots of stuff.
And when it bugs me...I have to get it out.
Like snake venom.
Or splinters.
Or spinach in my teeth.


How many times have you heard this phrase:

God will never give you more than you can handle.


I remember the first time that I heard it.
My older cousin had just died in a drunk driving accident.
Adults around me were dropping that phrase like it was the next diet craze.
And here's the thing....
that sweet little saying
is
absolute

#BULLSHIT

How does it make sense
in this world
that God would never give you

a puny, 
selfish, 
whiny 
human

more than YOU can handle?
*
It doesn't.
*
I often (ok....always) have more than I can handle.
I am prone to hyperbole but I am not exaggerating here.
I'm relatively safe in my western, entitled life.

And most days I still CANNOT EVEN.

So why is this a phrase that 
safe and comfortable western Christians 
want to throw around?
What is comforting to us about believing that 
God 
dishes out exactly the right amount of pain
 that we can handle-
Alone?

***********


I recently read For the Love by the incredibly brave Jen Hatmaker.
Don't know her?
Fix that.
Tout suite.

thanks to Cooking with the Johnstons for the picture above.
For the Love.  Buy it!




For perspective on challenges I could be asked to 'handle',
 I try to place myself 
in the shoes of someone who has had 
terrible, awful events outside of their control
occur within their life.
It helps me put what is happening in my life into perspective.
I try to imagine 
how it must feel to have this phrase
 said to me when:
*
 my livelihood is eliminated
*
my sister is raped
*
my brother over-doses
*
my son starves 
*
my government is overthrown
*
my crops are burned 
*
my apartment is shelled
*
my school is unsafe
*
my water source  is contaminated
*
my body is diseased
*
my life is over

And every time I imagine it
my instinct is to curl up and die.
There is no comfort in this phrase.

None.

We need to stop saying it.


In most cases
the perpetrators of evil are humans.
In others-there is no real blame.
Natural disasters happen.
People die.
It is the way of life.
God does not create tragic events
so that humans

can prove their ability to handle their shizz.

No.

On instagram?  Follow @thejoywarrior  

It helps me remember that God 
didn't set up my life
so that I could dose myself with pain
in amounts that my tiny body could handle 
ALONE.
There is no way I was designed to handle this life alone.

****
So what is it about this phrase that keeps it in our toolkit?
For me, it's the independent behavior it validates.
I think we all know by now how much I love 
to SEEM
like I have my life together
and am handling it like a pro.
source


See?  
Look at me WINNING over here.
Not needing anything 
or anyone
because you know...
God has my playlist SET!
And whatever crap this life throws at me
it is my JOB to handle like a Boss.
(Which used to mean handle alone).

The thing is...I cannot handle my life.
Not alone.
Not without God.
from ibelieve


I am pretty sure that the 
really heavy, hard stuff in my life
is there so that I will eventually 
GIVE UP.
So that I will realize
that in order to deal
I need to reach for God.
So that I reach for the one 
who holds my soul closest
and in his hand.








1 comment:

Shawn Clicquennoi said...

Sometimes I reread all of your blog posts in one night, like snuggling up w a dear friend and a good book at the same time. ec