Have you ever listened to a song that stopped you in your tracks and spoke to your soul? (I just got real heavy real quick, didn’t I? …Sorry about that. Not really sorry, though. Keep reading.)
I was listening to music on YouTube and a song I’ve never heard from the Christian group Mercy Me came on. I posted it for you below because I would be selling it sort by doing anything other than letting you listen to it for yourself.
“God won’t give you more than you can handle.” …False.
The lyrics in this song bring me to tears every single time I hear it. They are so powerful. The entire point of the song is that God is good ALL the time. Not just when things are going right. That’s one thing I think some Christians teach or preach inaccurately…the idea that God “won’t give you more than you can handle” (without Him) or that there is some kind of earthly reward for being faithful to God. I think this popular phrase should be changed to “God won’t give you more than He can handle”.
Before I risk sounding holier than thou, let me clarify that this is something I struggle with myself. It’s easy to be a good Christian and thank God and trust in His timing when things are going well, amirite?!? But what about when everything sucks? What about when you lose your job unexpectedly? What about when illness and tragedy strike? What about when you ARE given more than you can handle?
I believe God absolutely gives us more than we can handle from time to time, because when you have no other options, when things get out of your control, there’s no place left to go and nothing left to do but fall on your knees and ask for God’s help. It’s His way of showing us that we do need Him. That we aren’t in control. And that we need to submit our worries and fears to Him.
“Fearfulness is not faithfulness.”
I once heard Pastor Graham say “fearfulness is not faithfulness”. I was like “Amen, Pastor!” Made tons of sense to me as I sat in a beautiful and safe church with my loving husband and my friends, wearing designer shoes. The reality is that this is easier said than done. Try saying that to someone who is struggling with infertility, or just lost a loved one, or just got diagnosed with cancer. Yeah, that just got uncomfortable didn’t it? It’s HARD to submit our fears to Jesus. It’s HARD to trust in His timing. It’s HARD to relinquish control. Because unfortunately we are human and it’s just not in our nature. We want to be our own bosses and we want to minimize inconveniences. We are naturally selfish as human beings. BUT as Christians and servants of Jesus, we are called to do exactly that– Trust Him. Follow Him. Love Him. ALL the time. Not just when things are perfect.
Fair Weather Fan.
I work hard on a daily basis to be a strong Christian who puts all of my faith in Jesus, but then I find myself losing my marbles when something unexpected happens that puts me in an undesirable situation. This happened to me on Tuesday of last week. I was given some unexpected news that I didn’t handle very well. Then on Wednesday I heard this song.
“It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone”
-Mercy Me, Even If
Suddenly it hit me. Just like a fair weather fan roots for their team when they are winning and bashes the coach or the players when they are losing, I am being a fair weather Christian. This song reminded me that God is all-powerful, and of course He has the power to “fix” my situation, but guess what? “Even if You don’t…my hope is You alone.” Trusting that God’s plan is actually better than yours even if that means things are hard for you. Even if you don’t understand. Now THAT is the mark of a real Christian. That is where I want to be.
So there I was. Sobbing as I listened to this song while editing an image on Photoshop, trying not to let my tears hit my keyboard. Realizing very profoundly that I struggle (severely) with entitlement to happiness. I played the song repeatedly about 5 times in a row, letting the words seep deep into my heart. And while I can’t promise that I will never worry or get upset about anything ever again, I decided right then that I will take a moment to pray and remain focused on God any time worry starts creeping in. I won’t let my worries overpower my faith in the divinity of my Creator. That I will CHOOSE to trust in His plan (because it is a choice), and that I will not seek understanding. Instead I will make it my goal to continue putting Him first and to make decisions that keep Him centered in my life. I want to be able to say, no matter what, “it is well with my soul”…because my faith in Jesus is bigger than any problem.
I’m NOT a Christian because I think believing in Jesus will take away all of my problems and grant worldly desires. I am a Christian because I know without a doubt that Jesus died for my sins, and without faith in Him, I will live eternally separated from my creator. No expectations, no agenda. Just faith in Jesus. And you know what happens when we live this way? When we are TRULY convicted to trust and believe in Jesus? Our worries disappear. Our jealousy disappears. Comparison disappears. Our hearts can finally experience the joy and love and peace that only comes from knowing Jesus. The closest thing to heaven we can experience on earth. And that, my friends, is what it’s all about.