Last night, after many years of writing, researching, praying and writing some more, I walked across the stage of Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto and received my Doctorate degree. Finally.
Thank you to all who came out and “whoo whoo’d". I can’t tell you how much your support means to me. I am incredibly grateful and feel incredibly blessed.
The journey here was long. And if I am completely honest, there were times when I felt that I just couldn’t handle it all. Being the full time pastor (of an amazing church), a Doctoral student, a mom, a daughter and a wife, honestly, there were times over the past 7 years when life collided and I truly felt I was way in over my head. Every vacation, every study leave, every spare moment was dedicated to either working on, or stewing about my thesis.
More than once, a well meaning person would say, “Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle”.
“Really?” I thought, because if that’s true, something is very wrong.
Certainly keeping all the balls in the air does not compare to the suffering I have a front row seat to see as a pastor. Hardly a week goes by without receiving a phone call or an email that causes me to shake my head and weep.
I have experienced and witnessed that sometimes God does give us more than we can handle.
There was a time when I myself would say glibly, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” but with the passage of time I find that there are two statements that drive my preaching and counselling:
- God gives you more than you can handle so that you can realize you can’t handle it on your own! He gives it to you so that you would depend on God.
- God gives you more than you can handle so that you might experience God’s power.
David wrote in Psalm 61 that his heart had grown faint. He was experiencing far more than he could handle psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Where did he go when he was at his end?
He went higher.
He wrote in Psalm 61:2b, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.”
There it is. That is where you go when everything is falling apart, when you feel you can’t handle any more. The higher rock. The greater refuge. The stronger tower. You go to God!
You will grow faint, you will tire, and you will get overwhelmed, but be assured, God’s heart never grows faint. God never tires. God never gets overwhelmed.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 34: 17- 18 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; the Lord delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
If you feel like you have more than you can handle, hang on to the promises of God.
Join us this Sunday as we continue our series entitled, Things God didn't say.