Corinthians 10:13, states that “… God … will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able …” – I hear this verse oft quoted by well meaning friends and family. They say that we will not be given burdens greater than we can carry. Too many forget the rest of this particular verse; “… with the temptation [will] also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Too many make the mistake of of assigning responsibility for ailments, burdens, or crises in life directly to a loving Father in heaven. A Father who, in being all-knowing, is mistakenly blamed for adversity simply because He knows it’s coming.
I’m not implying that He doesn’t place difficult challenges in our path for the expressed purpose of our eternal growth, but I’m saying that many things that happen to us are wrongfully attributed to Him. Many things resulting from our choices, the choices of others, or simply mortality are assumed to be burdens divinely sent from above.
We also assume that we’re expected to carry these burdens alone. Galatians 6:5 clearly says as much, “For every man shall bear his own burden.” Context however is important. The verses before and after in Galatians and in Proverbs 9:12 clearly indicate that we have a choice and that being Christ-like involves carrying each other’s burdens. Accepting the help of others, recognizing the hand of the Lord in preparing us for future events, and recognizing past life events that strengthened us for this day are all equivalent to reaching out to Him, for “… His hand is stretched out still.”
By knowing what lies ahead of us; either due to a challenge of our own making, due to the agency of another, or due to His divine purpose; He provides help along the way. Many times this help is provided in advance of the crisis – friends to help support in the time of need, skills allowing us to resolve the issue, or strength simply to endure – all intended as mitigations to carry us through.
His intent may not be that the burden is “easy” to bear in human terms – ease doesn’t lead to strength and growth – but His intent is likely to provide the opportunity for us to faithfully endure.
Recognizing His hand in adversity is a challenge. Our hearts, minds, and bodies are too frequently so overwhelmed by our current crisis that we may not see His hand. In these times, we may even simply struggle to believe that He could help.
My advice; from the depths of doubt, discouragement and despair, ask your questions and dare to believe. Share your hurt. Dare to believe that even you can receive an answer.
This belief will lead to hope.
This hope will lead to faith.
Faith will lead to trust.
Trust will lead to truth.
That truth? That His hand is stretched out still. Always. Even for you.