Abiding in Exile - More Than I Can Handle 10/22/2020

Abiding in Exile - More Than I Can Handle 10/22/2020

October 20, 2020

by Priscilla Joel

October 22, 2020

You might have heard the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I certainly have. I’ve read it in devotionals, seen it on posters, and heard it from my friends. But since the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted our lives, I’m not so sure if any of us believe that phrase anymore. Sometimes, it is nice to be able to do my work from the comfort of my home, but sometimes, I feel like I’ve got more to juggle now than ever. 
One of the most difficult things that many of us are experiencing is the space, detachment, and remoteness of social distancing. The decision to stay home when I know there are others out socializing and having fun is indeed the smart thing to do. I think it’s what Jesus would do. But just like most things Jesus did, doing the right thing is hard. It has been several months since we have all been able to safely gather in large crowds. Several months since I’ve been able to smile at friendly strangers without a mask on. Several months since we’ve been able to safely embrace our loved ones, showing them how much we care. 
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our communities are plagued with fear and anxiety about this pandemic. We worry about the health of our family, our friends, and ourselves. We worry about the safety of first responders and healthcare providers who offer us medical attention and assistance when we are unwell. We worry about those who are in abusive and unhealthy relationships, who are forced to spend more time at home. We worry about our finances, our job security, our economy, our physical and mental health- the list goes on and on. And each day, the list seems to get longer. 
Oftentimes, and especially now, there is so much going on in the world. So much to worry and stress about that we try to walk away. But the problem that I have faced with working virtually is that it seems impossible to take a break. It seems as though because I am home, I must always be productive. And if I am not spending every moment working, exercising, job hunting, and studying, then I am wasting time. 
It feels like it’s a lot to handle. Maybe even more than I can handle.
“God will never give you more than you can handle,” they say.  And perhaps you believe that or know someone who does. But I’d beg to differ.
I think quite the opposite is true. I think God actually gives us more than we can handle so that we learn to depend on God. That’s why there’s always another fight to fight and another pillar to knock down. That’s why though we, as the church, the hands, and feet of Jesus, are trying our best to show God’s unconditional love and grace to the rest of the world, there is still much work and healing to be done and shown. It’s why it seems as if each day that passes, the fight for social justice and equality and human rights gets bigger. And harder. Because it does. 
We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, all trying our hardest to stay afloat. But each day we wake up and make a conscious effort, we head in the right direction. Whether you cross off everything on your to-do list or nothing at all, this hasn’t been easy for anyone. 
We all have more than we can handle. It’s time for us to lean on God.

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