Continued from here.
As I have shared previously, I’ve been through some really tough situations – child abuse, my father’s sudden death when I was 16, infertility, the adoption process, and parenting a child with special needs. To say I have lived a difficult life is an understatement. I have lost count of the number of times people have said to me, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” or “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” My response was always, “How strong do I really need to be?”
It turns out that neither of those quotes are from the Bible. There’s nothing in the Bible indicating that God’s goal in allowing large problems in our lives is to build our strength, nor does the Bible say that God stops the waters once we have reached the point that our strength will give out.
Think about it: Jesus was crucified. David fought Goliath. Daniel spent the night in the lion’s den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. These were all situations that went well beyond their strength. None of them got through those situations because they were strong. Instead, they got through them because they had a big God.
I have grown to learn that God isn’t interested in building my strength. Instead, He is interested in building my dependency upon Him. That’s why Jesus said we are the branches that are attached to the vine (Jesus) and can do nothing without him. God doesn’t allow mammoth problems in my life to build my strength. He allows them to build my faith, which is worth more than gold.
I’m still learning to accept trials, and I’ve got a ways to go before I’ll greet trials with joy (pure or otherwise). However, I am learning that dependency on God is the key to surviving the trials. I’ll tell God that I have put all of my eggs in His basket, so either He comes through, or I’ll fall. There is no third option.
When you face circumstances that are beyond your strength, remember that the key to surviving them is dependency upon God. Lean on Him, and trust that He will get you through this. God will work even this situation for good. Focus on loving God and doing His will. He will take care of the rest.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace running on a treadmill while holding dumbbells over the words, “Workin’ it.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]