Dispelling a Myth About What God Will and Will Not Do

        The countdown is on--less than two weeks before my open-heart surgery on June 16th to repair an aortic aneurysm and to replace a leaking valve. I’ll be in the hospital at Athens Regional, Lord willing, for about a week and then at home recovering for four to five weeks.  When I was diagnosed with this aneurysm two years ago we always knew that this was a future possibility, depending on how fast it grew, and it has reached the point where in consultation with my surgeon and as a result of praying, we believe now is the safest and best time to address it and get it behind us.  The surgeon is confident that I should do fine and it was encouraging to hear him say to us, “I realize I’m not the only One in that operating room.” 

          In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul teaches the church at Corinth and by extension us something that really flies in the face of what a lot of people believe about trials and difficulties that we go through in life.  How many times have you said to someone or someone said to you, “You know, God doesn’t put on us more than we can bear.”  Their and your heart is in the right place, but it’s not biblically true.  Listen to what Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.”  Paul clearly tells the Corinthians and us, “God put on us more than we had the strength to carry.”   

Therefore, the Biblical truth is that God delights in giving us more than we can handle! Why?  Well, listen to how Paul continues, “But that was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.”  God delights in putting on us more than we can handle because in those despairing times all we have left is to trust in God and not ourselves.  And that’s where God wants us—trusting in Him and not ourselves.  Then notice the security and confidence that flows from that in v. 10, “He delivered us from such a deadly peril and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”  Our hope when God puts on us more than we can handle is in trusting in the God who has raised us from the dead through the power of the Gospel. 

But that’s not all the text says.  Others have a part in sustaining us in those hard times. Verse 11 says, “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessings granted us through the prayers of many.” The prayers of others for Paul were vital and they are for us as well. 

Thank you for how you have prayed for and supported our family and please continue to do so.  And when we get on the other side of this, we will give thanks for all that God has done.