Monday, August 23, 2010

The Reality of the World...

I found out last week that a young man I knew when I was younger has cancer. He's younger than I am by several years, and he has a wife and three little girls.

The reality of this hit me hard although I haven't seen him in many years. In fact, he probably wouldn't remember me because one of his older brothers was really the one that I was close to. It hit me hard because he's young, he's Christ-like, a good husband and daddy I'm sure, a school administrator now that has worked hard for all that he has. He's representative of many young men I know.

My main memory of him growing up is that he had to be tough to withstand the aggravation of 3 big brothers. They were all amazing young men, always a joy to be around, but they were typical brothers. As I think of him now facing this battle, I think of how tough he had to be to put up with those three brothers, and I wonder if this may be a cinch for him after what he's learned. This coupled with his strong faith and the amazing faith of his family and friends, as well as an all-powerful, loving, healing God, surely will bring a testimony that none of us can imagine right now.

The idea made me ask "why?" It made me wonder about the pain his family must be feeling. It made me think of how strong or weak my own faith is. It really caused me to question where I am in my relationships, especially my relationship with the Lord.

You see, I hear many people say, "God said He will never give me more than I can handle." God never said that!

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." Somehow we shortened this to the whole "God said He will never give me more than I can handle." Well, does that mean that homeless people that have to live on the street are just strong enough to handle it? What about the starving people in other countries? Has God "given" them this because they are strong enough to endure it? NO!! God doesn't put these things on us. What kind of God would do that? He doesn't GIVE us pain and grief, but He allows those things to happen in the world. The key is that God provides a way out for us. He is to be our strength during these times of weakness. Notice the part of the verse that says that He will provide a way for us to endure it. He endures it for us and with us. It's up to us really, and we in our wordly strength can't handle everything. God in His infinite wisdom and power however sure can. What we have derived from this verse and what the whole point is are two totally different things. The beginning of the verse is the key.... God is faithful.

So, as I think of my friend battling cancer, I know that although he may not be strong enough to beat it, he serves the very God that can. Don't ever think that God is giving you something that you can't handle, or that he will not give you any more than you can. What we really need to remember is, no matter what comes our way, God is faithful.

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