Just last week I had another moment where things were most certainly "too much". As I hurriedly attempted to make it to one daughter's tennis match I discovered that the van lift had stopped working. Now understand, just a few hours earlier I had one of the girl's brand new power chairs repaired. At this point both girls were trapped inside in their 250 pound power chairs. I may come from "farmer stock", but this is NOT something I could lift down.
As I banged both hands on the lift yelling "NOOOOOOOOO!" in my best theatrical voice, my dear home health aid tried to soothe me saying, "you know what they say about not being given more than you can handle....". Poor thing. She had no idea what a pet peeve that misquote has become to me. So I decided to let her know!
It is indeed a misquote. One that has brought me more despair than I care to admit. It is always given by well meaning folks meant to be encouraging. However there are times when we are in God-Sized troubles and we are intended to include others in those moments...those He sends to us. For the first 18 months of the twins' lives I believed that God intended me to handle what he laid in front of me. To not do so would disappoint Him. But boy did I feel bitter! As day after day went by I cried out with a "YO! do you see me drowning here??? How do you think I am to handle this when I am exhausted and feel like I am functioning UNDER water???" All the while I turned away offers of help from those He sent me, believing I was meant to handle it. Let me share with you the verse I eventually angrily looked up in the Bible....Corinthians 10:13! It certainly doesn’t say that God will not give us more than we can handle, but it does give us the extraordinary promise that God will never allow us to be tempted more than we can handle and that He will always provide a way of escape. Relieved? I know my own health aid was! In fact, she asked me for the reference so she could share it with her struggling friend who quoted it to her! Go ahead...do a search on it. You will find many a scholar acknowledging that such a verse does not exist. As for me, I found that moment to be a turning point in my life. One that has brought joy and richness, knowing that the spirit intercedes for me and that God is sending me ways of escape through others all the time! WHEW!
That day at the tennis courts? Well, I may not be able to lift 250 pounds of wheelchair...but I am strong enough to manually pump the lift by hand. Once I settled down and focused I remembered that I had that option and off we went. Yup, she won her match...all the while wondering what was going on over at "Big Blue" (our so-called affectionate name for our wheelchair adapted van). Sorry, Lyss.