When bad things happen — and they do — being able to make sense of them provides comfort to some people. Ultimately we don’t know why events unfold as they do. After all, we’re not God. But are you turning to the latest best-seller fad blowing through the church — or the OEM — for direction?
Do you believe God never gives us more than we can handle? What about when you’re having a really bad day? Do those things come from God, and does He sit around hoping you can make it?
You may feel like it’s more than you can handle, and that’s a big deal to be sure — depression and other problems are real and can be debilitating.
Yet reality isn’t always what we see and feel. That’s why illusionists like David Copperfield make boatloads of money. You know he didn’t saw that girl in half, but you just watched it happen.
What you see and feel isn’t always an accurate representation of reality — feeling like you can’t handle it doesn’t mean you can’t.
I think we’ve all felt overwhelmed sometimes. Will you at times be discouraged? You bet. Even Paul was:
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
Despaired even of life, the super-saint Paul says.
All through the Bible we find examples of guys enduring major problems, yet making it through. That means we can as well.
It’s not fun, but whatever situation you find yourself in, it’s likely someone else has experienced it as well and can coach you through.
- Coach Daniel says I know what it’s like to be fed to the lions.
- Coach Moses says I know what it’s like to have your back against the wall.
- Coach Jeremiah says I know what it’s like to want to quit speaking.
- Coach Ezekiel says I know what it’s like to have people ignore the message.
- Coach Paul says I know what it’s like to despair of life.
- Coach Elijah says I know what it’s like to feel all alone.
Reality remains simple: God never promised you a pony. Life is hard — never quit, never give in, never surrender.
When you’re told it’s possible for God to give you more than you can handle, where do you think that message comes from? Is it from God or the other direction?
Don’t confuse feelings with reality. That’s not to say feelings are unimportant, only they may not reflect the actual situation.
Who hasn’t at some point felt overwhelmed? I’m tired of fighting God, I just don’t care anymore. I’m going to crawl in this cave and quit.
What then? We’ve got to learn from Wile. E. Coyote — the originator of bad days.
Wile E. understands life is hard, and just getting the evening meal can be a major obstacle to overcome.
But at 3AM you’ve got what you’ve got.
The fact remains we’ll all have bad days. Wile E. Coyote never gives up. He always thinks the latest ACME product will work, and it always fails.
What if Wile E. looked to the maker instead of the latest ACME “purpose driving shack revelation” product? The OEM says you can calculate the launch angle for your rocket from a certain height to hit a road runner traveling at a certain speed.
ACME products don’t do that, because they don’t have the mind of the manufacturer.
Don’t look to the latest ACME best-seller book — it’s all snake-oil. We do not need ACME’s latest offering of the “purpose driving shack calling.”
We require dedication, and a firm refusal to quit, as Winston Churchill said:
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalog of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
All we need is the rock of God’s Word, and an absolute stubbornness and refusal to quit.
If you’re armed with those two things, you’ll make it through — fad and trendy books blowing through the church won’t get the job done.
If you don’t like that, just wait, another best seller is set to blow through the church any minute now. Of course, it won’t actually provide any help, but it’s your choice what you build your foundation on.
Be prepared, because it’s 2:59AM and when the storm comes you’ll find out what your foundation is really made of.