God is good!!!

If there was ever a time when I needed to be reminded that God will never give us more than we can handle…it is now.

Here’s the situation in brief:

–As I have mentioned before this weekend is Salem’s 125th anniversary and there is an open house at the parsonage tomorrow (Saturday).

–The bathroom is being remodeled.  We ordered flooring but as of Thursday is just arrived but no one was available to put it in = messy house for open house = stressed wife = stressed husband (me).  Help!

–[Here's God intervening] One of my trustees has a son who installs flooring (why I didn’t remember is beyond me).  She heard about our setback and called her son and he said he could come on Friday to install the flooring.  PRAISE BE TO GOD!  He just left (Friday morning) to get is tools so he can start.  The  bathroom will now be done by the open house = less stress for my wife = less stress for the husband (me). PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!

–[Here's God intervening again] Project #2…the patio.  One parishioner is working on this (former landscaper) all by himself = lots of work.  Yesterday and this morning people have been calling me left and right saying they are coming over to help Joel and get this done (Joel is happier).  PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!  And now I am feeling overwhelmed by God’s greatness and faithfulness.

–[The priesthood of all believers] People from the anniversary committee, the congregation president, various other council members, parishioners, and friends from the community (a friend of mine who happens to be the council president at the other Lutheran church in town) have stepped up to make this weekend happen.  Thank you and PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!

In response to this all I can say is “God is good…all the time.  All the time…God is good!!!”

PRAISE BE TO GOD!

-edh-

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7 responses to “God is good!!!

  1. Glad things worked out for you. Have a great celebration tomorrow.

    But I’m going to quibble with the “God will never give us more than we can handle” line … what about those people who suffer from extreme stress, who can’t seem to keep their lives together, who can’t manage abusive spouses, job loss, chronically sick children … I fear that a “God will never give us more than we can handle” theology tells such people that their struggle reveals personal weakness or unfaithfulness.

    What about the person who commits suicide owing to a mixture of depression and crappy life circumstances – did God give that person more than he could handle? If not, should that person be blamed for not being able to handle all that was on his plate?

    Sorry to be so “heavy,” but as one who has witnessed the pain and legacy of domestic violence, depression, and other long-term afflictions, I have a hard time with the “God will never give us more than we can handle” perspective … because the truth is that many people crumble and die under the weight of sin and crappy life circumstances.

    Peace,
    Chris

    • Chris,

      Without knowing any details of the people you are referring to, it is impossible to answer specifically. However, if I may offer a generic answer…

      I start with the premise that God is good — and not just “hi, how are ya’, glad to hear it good” but “I so loved the world that I sent my beloved Son to die on the cross so that you might have eternal life” good.

      If God is good, then how could He possibly burden us with more than we can handle? The answer, I believe, is that He doesn’t. One of my inspirational heroes, an author named John Eldredge, states in the beginning of a book that he wrote (“Waking the Dead” — one of the most influential books in my spiritual growth) that we are born into a world at war. The enemy of our souls seeks to destroy everything that ties us to God. Whether we agree or not, whether we believe or not, he “roams about seeking whom he may destroy”. Domestic violence, depression (I have a loved one who suffers from that very affliction, so I am not unaware of the pain you speak of), etc. are tools in the Devil’s tool kit. So, the question you are asking then becomes, “why doesn’t God put a stop to it?”

      The answer is that THIS IS A CHRISTIAN’S JOB ON EARTH! The church I attend has a full-time staff of counselors whose job is to help people overcome the circumstances they face. I’ve been through their ministry (as has everyone who works for or with the church — it’s a requirement before anyone can minister there), and I can tell you from my personal experience that when the Holy Spirit runs into the fruits of the evil one, the evil one loses, every single time. We have more power than we realize. That is how Paul was able to write that he had discovered the secret to being joyful, whether free or in chains, whether hungry or well-fed, no matter where he was or what his circumstances, he is filled with joy — because he was also filled with the Holy Spirit. The only weapon Satan has against us is convincing us to come into agreement with him. When we do that, well, there isn’t much hope when that happens. And it’s easy to do. I’ve done it more than I like to admit. He just slips a thought in, and if you aren’t on guard, you agree with him. “Yeah, there is no point to living in this misery. Things won’t ever get better. There is no hope.” On and on you go, in a downward spiral until suicide (if that’s the path he is leading you on — it could be any other sin, cheating on your spouse, stealing from your boss, splitting off from your church, whatever) seems to be the only way out of the circumstances you face. But the Scriptures tell us that “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.” What problem is too big for God? What obstacle in our path is God unable to blow wide open? What mountain can He not move? He CREATED the mountains — they bend like grass before His breath.

      No, God NEVER gives us more than we can handle. That would be a sign of a malevolent god, and the God I know and serve is never malevolent. When we feel otherwise, we have to call on Him to show us the way of deliverance. It’s there, I promise you. His Word tells us that He will always provide a way of escape.

      I pray that God bless you and reveal to you the depth of His love, of His goodness, of His infinite resources to deliver you from whatever obstacles Satan may ever throw in your path.

    • heartofapastor

      I’ll take time to respond but right now it is 1:30am and I have had a long day. Thanks for stopping by…and I will be back.

  2. An only-sort-of-related comment: We have an adult in our congregation who is terrific at organizing things like fixing the parsonage. He does that sort of work for a living. And I just heard: he is thinking of going to the seminary! God calls all kinds of people.

  3. Glad to here things are moving along. Been thinking of you since we saw you yesterday but hated to call and bother you. Wishing we were closer so we could have helped out but I think you knew you could always call if the need arose. Hope you are more at ease and your blood pressure is calming down. Will be thinking of you this weekend and say a little prayer for a successful and memorable weekend.

    Mom

    • heartofapastor

      Thanks mom…I know I can always count on you and dad. You have always been there for us.

      I am calming down and feeling much better now. And thanks for the prayers.

  4. It is good to hear what God does for us. We overcome by the word of our testimony. He is working and making a way even before we know there is an obstacle we will encounter.