“I know God would not give me more than I can handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!” Have you ever felt this way before? It seems to be a popular thing to say or think when facing hard times. I sure have said it, thought it, and even cried it out during my life.
In my later teens/early twenties, I used to wonder why God allowed barrenness to enter my life the way it did. There were many times when my search for an answer that made sense seemed to end in even more confusion. People would tell me that God wouldn’t put anything in my life that I wasn’t strong enough to handle. While these words were meant to be comforting, they were not. I didn’t want to be strong enough. I wanted to be a parent.
Who wants to be strong enough to handle infertility anyway?
I’ve been thinking about the saying referenced above all day, and have come to the conclusion that we may have it backwards. We may think that God needs to be able to trust us. I don’t think He does. I believe He desires for us to trust Him, and to step out in faith during the hardships. The blessings and the heart-breaks we receive in life are not based on the condition of whether we are worthy of being trusted.
In 2007, while fostering our son, I was overcome by so much doubt about my role as a foster parent, the struggle with not knowing what would happen in the future, and the failure to believe that I could be strong enough to handle the potential heartbreak of losing the precious baby we had come to love so much. I knew that there were some very important decisions that needed to be made. I knew that the professional team involved had to carefully consider reunification with the birth parents, and possible placement with a relative; still yet, I longed for an answer that was marred by the juvenile justice system and time. It was not black and white. We were living in the gray.
During this time, I went to my pastor, and asked him a question that pastors may cringe when being asked. “Why does it feel like God is always testing me? Have I not proven to be faithful?”, I asked with tears rolling down my cheeks. There I was, slumped down in the chair, with tear-stained cheeks, and the look of longing written all over my face. He sat back in his chair, let out a gentle sigh, put his hands together as if he was about to pray, and then said,
“Caroline, God is who created you. He is the one who set your limits. He would never put you in a position that would push you past the limits He has already established for you.”
I sat there for a moment, examining his face and his words. I allowed them to soak into me. His words were like lightning to my thoughts. They broke through the darkness of where my mind had been taking me, and in a flash, I realized that it is not about if God trusts me during hardships, but whether or not I trusted Him.
These words buried themselves into my heart, and I carried them with me for the remainder of my foster care and adoption journey. Even now, I am reminded of this when facing situations that appear to be pushing me towards an edge that I fear falling off of. I think of them when exhausted, when worried, and when struggling to make hard decisions.
If you are facing infertility, or hardships right now in your life, picture yourself being molded and shaped by the most loving Hands. Picture those Hands drawing your world around you, illustrating and scripting each step of your day; and each moment, both big and small, of your life. Imagine glorified Breath whispering words of hope into the air you breathe in. Imagine a Father walking in front, beside, and behind you throughout your life.
This Father…THE Father…is not in the business of setting traps. He does not wish for you to fall off the edge. The next time you are facing a difficult moment in life, picture God wrapping around you. You are His blessed creation. He knows your limits because He is the one who created them.
Maybe during difficult times, we should all practice saying,
“I know God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle, I just need to trust Him more.”
Sounds a bit different, doesn’t it?
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:28-31