Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
“God never gives you more than you can handle”… Or does He?
I’m sure we’ve all heard this all too common quote more times than we can probably count. We’ve probably even offered it in hopes of comforting a loved one during a difficult time. But have we ever stopped and really considered these 9 words?
He never gives us more than WE can handle? I don’t know about you, but I fail daily. Sometimes, many times… ok, a lot of times I fail miserably. I’m talking, just throw in the towel, put a fork in it, call it quits cause I’m done FAIL! I am but human, after all. Imperfect and weak, but He, He is God. The God who just spoke and the oceans separated. I’d far rather him handle all my trials, then them be left in my care.
So then, why does God give us these trials? Why are we faced with such hard times? That is a question I’ve pondered many times. A question that non-believers tend to throw around to question our belief in Him. How could a God who loves us and wants good for us allow “bad” things to happen to us? I believe it is to allow us the opportunity to rely fully on him. To remind us how little control we truly have on this life we lead. That may not seem at all encouraging to you, but I hope maybe with some refocus you can understand better my point of view.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Job. I read it for the first time two years ago, when all was well in my life. I had experienced a trial or two here and there, but for the most part I had never experienced true brokenness, needing the repair of my Savior. I was walking in faith and relying on God to control all the areas of my life… as long as those areas aligned with what I thought was the right path. Please tell me I am not the only person out there who has trusted God, “as long as”. As long as it doesn’t hurt. As long as we don’t have to feel too uncomfortable. As long as there is not a financial aspect that could throw our entire life for a loop.
There are so many aspects of the book of Job that can leave you in amazement. Satan had to obtain permission from God to test Job. Job was a follower of God. He loved him and trusted him fully, but Satan was determined to prove that in the greatest trial, even Job would deny the Father’s presence and love for him. Spoiler alert- Job remains faithful for much of the book and only begins to question God after being badgered by his wife and friends. Being accused of doing “something wrong”, that caused his trial to befall him. If you haven’t read the book, this is where it gets good. Where we get to see a side of God that I identify all too well with.
In Chapter 38, God responds to Job in a way that is unlike any other response in the Bible. He basically asks him “Do you know my plans better than I do?” I can’t help but picture an exasperated Father, who knows what he has done is what is best for his child, but has just had enough of this strong willed, stubborn offspring questioning his every move. After 2 full chapters of God declaring His wisdom in all areas, Job simply responds by saying “I am unworthy, how can I respond to you. I put my hand over my mouth…” (Job 40:4)
Job questions God and his perfect plan, God responds by reminding him of exactly who He really is and Job is moved to reverence and conviction to never again question the Almighty.
How many times in your life have you been down as low as you feel you can fall, and begin to cry out “Why God?” I was there 9 months ago. In a pit of absolute fear and despair. The unthinkable had happened and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what I “had done wrong” to deserve this. Let’s face it, when bad things happen we tend to assume it’s the consequence of some action. Just as Job’s wife and friends assumed. Just as the disciples in John 9 asked Jesus concerning the blind man. “Who sinned that this man was born blind?” Jesus’ response is one we should all memorize. If you write things on post it’s, or highlight in your Bible, I encourage you to mark this verse as a daily reminder.
John 9:3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. “
How comforting are Jesus’ words? Tough times, trials and despair are not a consequence of a sin but rather are tools to be used to bring glory to God. There are times undoubtedly when our choices have consequences. Choices that we made outside of the calling of God, but even those choices can be used to bring glory to God. We are sinners. Daily we will fall short of the glory of God, but his grace is sufficient to cover all those sins and to then use those sins to bring him glory.
If I was type out a list of my sins over my lifetime, or even over my marriage; I can pinpoint where almost every one of those sins have been used to bring God glory. When we decide that our plan is insufficient but that God has full control of our lives, and not just as long as, then our lives can be used in miraculous ways. Sins that other humans would nail us to a cross for, are the sins that Jesus carried the weight of so that we may live eternally in glory with him.
So, when life happens. When your sin has you bogged down and there seems to be no way out. Remember Psalm 121. Lift your eyes unto the Hills, for that is where your help comes from. Our help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth. He will not let you fall or stumble. He is your keeper and he does not sleep while keeping watch over his flock. He will keep your life, your going and coming forevermore.
Even this mess can become His message!
Megan Oaks is Maryland born, North Carolina raised, currently residing in New Mexico and looking forward to retirement in East Tennessee. Married to her Earthly hero, an Airman in the Air Force and mother to their three "acorns". Recently enrolled in her first college semester at 30 years old and striving toward a degree in Rad Tech. In her spare time, which is few and far between, Megan enjoys photography, reading, following the Baltimore Ravens and reality television. Air Force wife, mother to three, and daughter of the most high King. You can contact her via Twitter at @megancoaks.