No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
I’m sure pretty much every Christian has heard at some point the phrase “God won’t give you too much to bear”. That statement probably points to the above mentioned verse in Corinthians – but I don’t think it’s quite that simple. In Finnish there’s even a song about it: “Not a drop too much”. It’s a beautiful song, but it makes me flinch.
Because I believe sometimes God does indeed give us more than we can bear.
The Corinthians speaks about temptation. For that one, yes, I believe what God allows us to face is not more than we can endure to stay away from the temptation. But Christians face other things, too. Not everything is temptation even if it can be called a “trial”. I call them simply hardships. Or misfortune. Things that go south. Broken bones. Empty bank accounts. Sick family members. Own illness. Unruly children. Burnt houses. Hardships.
I think those hardships are kind of like Aslan removing the dragon scales from Eustace’s skin. It hurts, but it makes a difference. When God allows things to go wrong in your life, it’s because He wants to teach you something. And if you’re – I am – too proud and stubborn, He gives some more. And that’s where the “too much to bear” comes in – often people need more than they have strength to carry, so that they would finally humble themselves. So that they’d quit relying on their own strength and turn to God’s power instead.
And if you don’t bend, you’ll break.
That’s very unfortunate. At least for stubborn survivers like me. I’ve always relied on myself on everything, because there’s never been anyone to really take care of me. I’ve always been an outsider, a loner – even growing up in my own family. Maybe that has made it so impossible for me to give in.
I mean, it must be my fault things aren’t working: The Bible says God is perfect and all He wants is to love us, if only we let Him. So if that’s true then it means that I just keep doing something wrong because He doesn’t (can’t?).
I’m rather afraid how much more God will pile on me before things will settle down. I’d much rather be one of those Christians who only get love and sweetness and all the good gifts from God. Like John, who was Jesus’ friend. But I’m not. Instead I’m like Thomas, who couldn’t believe until he saw. And Jesus let him see and touch – but not me. So I’m even worse off than Thomas. I’d happily be even scolded by Jesus – like Thomas was – to get that, but no. So far this journey has lasted 30+ years and I don’t see it getting any better or easier. But at least I’m resilient… Or am I? I don’t know.
Sorry the incoherent rambling. It’s early morning and I haven’t slept at all. Hard to get anything decent out of this spaghetti of a brain inside my skull.
ps. Mom died. That was yet another “no”. She couldn’t speak anymore, and was barely conscious. And I have no idea where she went. Or, sadly, I think I probably know and that’s not nice at all.