by Gloria Furman
Do you ever feel like God has given you “more than you can handle?”
I regularly have this thought, and my pride doesn’t want it to be true. The hot air escaping my burst ego when I realize that I just can’t “handle it” is almost audible. Honest thoughts about my weaknesses do not occur as a grace to me that raise my awareness to the fact that “In [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).
God tells us not to lean on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5), because there isn’t anything there to hold us up. Jesus, who holds our lives in his hand, calls us to abide in him as he abides in us, because apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).
Sinful pride begs to differ—why can’t I be the exception? Could I not just tip my hat to the Lord for his wisdom in discerning what I can handle on my own? Does my life have to be included in the universe that Jesus holds together by the word of his power (Col. 1:17, Heb. 1:3)? I’d rather meet all my needs according to my own riches.
But praise the Lord! We don’t have to hold out for vain consolations that we will eventually muster our own strength and rise to the occasion to prove our competence. Instead, we have blood-bought promises purchased for us through the work of Jesus on the cross. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). And though he was crucified in weakness, Jesus lives by the power of God (2 Cor. 13:4). Our Hope is neither trivial nor fleeting because Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb—our hope is set on the living God (1 Tim. 4:10).
We can cut off the fuel supply to our joy-hating pride by celebrating God’s sufficient grace, boasting all the more gladly in our weakness so the power of Christ rests on us (2 Cor. 12:9-10). And by serving with the strength that God supplies so that God gets the glory through Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 4:11). And by relying not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:9). There is deep joy and contentment to be had when we rest in the Lord, a God who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6). Our inadequacy, weakness, and frailty give us cause to rejoice in the mercy of God who sustains our lives.
The calendar says that this is Easter weekend, yet we recognize that Easter is a reality that we live in and celebrate every day.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 6:11).
He who raised the Lord Jesus on Easter morning will raise us also with Jesus and bring the church into his presence (2 Cor. 4:14). The day is coming when we will be raised from the dead imperishable (1 Cor. 15:52). Raised imperishable—and still God’s joyfully-dependent creatures. That’s more joy than we can handle. Praise God that his grace will remain sufficient throughout eternity!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).