Thursday, March 14, 2013

More than you can handle

Not too long ago I was sharing with a Christian friend about a fundraising-related struggle I was having. In an effort to encourage me, he shared, "Don't worry! God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

My friend was trying to be helpful, so I didn't say anything to that at the time. What I thought, however, was this:

Uh, yeah He does.

Like the mythical verse about "God helping those who help themselves", the whole "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" thing is completely made up. Moreover, both those statements are dangerous because the truth is the exact opposite!

God does give you more than you can handle. He does so so that we can look back on the situation and know with certainty that God was the One who did it - not ourselves. This is especially important in the realm of fundraising: if you enter into fundraising thinking you can handle it, you're going to either crash and burn quickly, or worse yet, have a ministry that looks stunningly similar to that of the Pharisees.

I just read the story of David and Goliath to my 3-year old a few nights ago. As he looked at the picture of the young shepherd standing over the body of the giant, he asked, "Daddy, how come that little rock knock down that biiiiig guy?" I was delighted - that's the exact question God intends us to ask! God had very clearly given David (and all Israel) more than he could handle. How could a few rocks take down an enormous, armor-plated warrior? The answer, of course, is that they couldn't. But God could. And He did.

Indeed, one of the greatest truths of the Bible is that God gives us more than we can handle. This causes us to remain humbly dependent on the One on whom we were meant to be humbly dependent. (A parallel truth is that God doesn't help those who help themselves... He helps those who can't help themselves!) The world calls this foolishness or even slavery. Christians know, however, that there is nothing wiser or more freeing than fulfilling our created purpose: to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.