I recently had a conversation with a friend that has experienced so much heartache in the last few years that they are ready to give up, on their life, and God, asking “when are we ever going to catch a break! When will this nightmare stop?” Another very well-intentioned friend told her “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.” I am sure they meant to encourage and give her strength, and for some, this may bring comfort. But I am sorry, this statement drives me crazy and is not always as helpful as people think. For me, this statement actually suggests that God did this, that God caused the problems, and for me, that is deeply disturbing.
1 Corinthians 10:13 is usually the scripture they associate with this and is actually misinterpreted because the contextual reality and translation that Paul is referring to is temptations, not hardships. The hardships we face are not from God, and He doesn’t promise we won’t face them, but He does promise to give us strength, comfort, and a community of people that will support, and encourage us and bring good from all things. Through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, we can be confident that evil, hate, pain, and death will not have the final word.
Earlier she had shown me a bracelet she recently got that reads “Be the one“-Mother Teresa. While still painful, I pointed out that her bracelet is what she needs to keep in front of her, because she is the one for these children.
She is the one showing the children involved what love looks like, even in tough times in which nothing seems to make sense and difficult times when those they love are the source of their heartache. She is the one that is making a more significant impact on their life by loving them and fighting for them despite her own pain, anguish, and physical and mental exhaustion. And when she needs love, support, and encouragement, God has also provided a community to hold her and love her. Thank you for sharing your story with me my dear friend and being the one for the precious lives of those God entrusts in our care.