Warning: The following post is going to be a blog post where I alternatively preach, and swear. So if you can't deal with the mix of Faith and Reality, quit reading. If you can, read on.
Admittedly, I am sure I have said the wrong thing many times over the years in people's times of tragedy, but somewhere along the way I have picked up that a SAFE response to finding out about other's bad news is "I am sorry" and alternatively "Is there anything I can do?" and many, many have shared their thoughtful sentiments with me. And I thank you, but what would blogging be if I didn't have something to complain about?
I am learning that there is one thing in particular that I DO NOT want to hear. Ever. Again. And yes, I realize that approximately 350 people have said this to me in the last 3 weeks, and so no, I am not talking about YOU, and yes of course I forgive YOU for saying it. JUST DON'T SAY IT AGAIN.
When I recount the TWO cancer diagnosis and a death that befell my family in a two week period, more people than I can count have said "Well God won't give you more than you can bear".
Bull Shit. Bull Shit. Bull Shit.
First off, the verse that everyone is referencing (1st Cor. 10:6-11) has NOTHING to do with bad stuff happening in our lives, it has to do with resisting TEMPTATION. You know, the desire to DO bad stuff - meaning that God will always provide us the strength to RESIST doing that which we shouldn't (like possibly the swearing above). In other words, God won't allow you to be tempted more than what you can handle. That 6th piece of chocolate cake that would definitely catapult you over into the "glutton" category? You CAN resist that, its not too much to bear. See the difference?
Instead well meaning people toss these words out, twisting them, and instead of comforting, it hurts. A verse that has to do with our choices, and consequences, gets used to essentially blame God for the bad things that happened and tell me I should be tougher because obviously I can handle this just fine. Which means, at least to me when I hear it, its my fault if I am not sailing through grief, or fear, or loss. Because, you know "God" thinks I can handle it so he hasn't sent more than I can handle. .
Crap happens people.
Babies die. "Good" people get cancer. Wonderful mothers struggle with debilitating diseases. Innocent children get abused.
I choose to not believe that a God that loves me, made me, and that I worship and believe in is putting me through this to because "I can bear it". I can't. I am terrified of dying and leaving my sons. I need, in a primal way I can't explain, my dad. The loss of my Nan from my life has ripped my heart into two. And yes, some days I want to break under the weight of my problems, and you know what? Other people are daily facing things that ARE unbearable. Completely, totally, and thoroughly unbearable and unfathomable.
Mental illness. Death. Rape. Murder. War. Disease. Loss. Poverty. Racism. CANCER. Unbearable ills because we live in a broken world. A world in which evil wishes to rob of us of everything.
And MY GOD doesn't "do" this to me because I am strong. I can't bear it alone. And that is the point I think. I cannot bear it alone.
2 Corinthians 1:8.9: "For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself...But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God."