I regularly hear from people that “God will never give you more than you can handle.” People usually say this when things are pretty tough and it is sort of a personal pep talk. The problem I have with it is that it’s not in the Bible and I don’t believe God ever promises that. As far as I can find God never promises we won’t be overwhelmed by life, just that no matter what happens he will never leave us or forsake us. I trust in that. I recognize I can come to the end of my rope. But I put this together with the assurance from Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for the good of those who love him. Not all things are good, but God uses all things for good.
So, instead of God having some plan for my life that I have to study, plead and seek to discover it because God isn’t just going to tell me, God actually can handle all possibilities. I visited a friend’s adult Sunday School class one day where he was explaining this single line of direction that God had laid out and that we had to find in order to stay within God’s will and plan. “God wouldn’t leave anything to chance.”
The trouble with this is if God was a big human being it made sense, he’s got to narrow things down to a form he can handle. But what if God was actually GOD, not having our limitations?
Imagine a loom… you know all those hundreds of threads that get interwoven into tapestry. Now imagine your life choices as a million, billion threads where every choice imaginable is also possible. Your turn to the left or right at any given moment, stopping to look at something, hurrying faster instead of taking your time – a little faster, a lot faster… consider the immensity of the amount of choices you might make at any moment of any day and what if that didn’t matter to God. What if any random choice we make doesn’t throw God off his game? What if he can still “use all things for good for those who love him?” Isn’t that image a bit more like God?
In the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus says, “by chance…” a priest came down the same road on which the robbed and beaten man lay in his despair. It just so happened? Sure. Not like God is getting this guy beat up so that I will have the chance to help, but like I happen to be going down this road where these things have taken place and I have to make a choice. What if I get jumped trying to help this guy? God will use that. What if I find out it’s a scam and all my money is taken? God will use that. What if I find this guy is going to take me out of my way and make me late for my appointments and plans? God will use that. What if it turns out that I get to help, care for and change the future of this poor, beaten individual? God will put me in a story. (Well, God will use that as well.)
I am assured that no matter where God leads I can follow. I may wander around a bit but, ultimately, that doesn’t worry God.