It's too much. Sometimes life gets to be too much. Then someone, well-intentioned, trying to offer encouragement and support says, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." If it were true, I might be comforted.
But it's not truth.
Life is too much to handle. And this is okay.
Now the world doesn't want me to think it's okay. The world wants me to think I'm a big failure because I can't handle everything that comes my way. The world tells me I'm not good enough if I can't keep up with the laundry and pickup the kids on time and have a home cook meal steaming on the table at dinner time and get through showers without someone (maybe me) having a major meltdown.
There are all these things I'm supposed to be able to do to be counted as a good mom, a good educator, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, a good sister. I can't keep up with it all. It is too much.
I've been reading and rereading about the time in Gethsemane before Jesus was betrayed and started on the journey to crucifixion. Jesus was in agony there in the garden. He did not want to do what he was called to do. He asked for a way out. It was too much -- way too much.
We are not promised that life will not be too much to handle. (The scripture that tends to be misunderstood refers to temptation -- there will always be a way to run away from temptation. Suffering and the circumstances of life, though, that's another story.) We are not promised easy and comfortable.
This week I'm wiped out. It's the time of year when things get hard -- super hard -- for a couple of our kids. Their emotions are close to the surface, ready to burst at any moment (many moments, in fact). The work at school is more than I can handle. I keep dropping the ball. I have too many unanswered emails waiting in my inbox. Andy has been with his dad (who is a very blessed man and was able to come home today).
It's too much, but it doesn't mean God made a mistake.
Isn't it when things get to be too much that we see the power of Jesus?
I wish there wasn't a need for adoption. Unfortunately we live in a world where children are hurt by the people who are supposed to care for them. God calls us to stand in the gap, to take care of orphans. To make families for the fatherless.
It's too much for anyone to do. It's too much for me, it's too much for you -- but we hang in there because we turn to God, who is mighty and strong -- and we learn what it means to be part of the body of Christ, serving and loving and encouraging one another as we walk a journey that is too hard.
Too much and too hard are indicators of a life well-lived. They are indicators of radical faith. I'm coming to believe that when we are in the will of God, life is too much to handle.
And this is okay. Because it is here, in the midst of too hard, that we find too much joy and too much peace and too much grace and too much love.
It is the love of a great big God that is too much to handle.
Today I'm linking up with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart. It's a link-up where you pour a little encouragement out with your words and then share it with the rest of the community. Even if you don't try it, hop over and enjoy a little encouragement for your soul.