God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle: A Moment With Bill Reflection
The False Premise
A wise man, Gibran! From pain and suffering comes character. True words, yes?
I was thinking the other day about something I have heard often. It goes something like this: God will not give us more than we can handle.” I’m sure most of you have heard this, and maybe you have never questioned it, but I have.
My beliefs on the existence of God are unimportant. I am simply addressing this issue that if there is a God He would never give us more than we can humanly bear.
One need only look at the latest suicide statistics to see the possible fallacy in such a belief. One only need scan the roster of the local state mental institution to understand that there are many people who simply could not handle that which they were given. A young child is molested from the age of eight until she finally runs away from home at the age of sixteen and enters a world of prostitution and drugs. A teenage boy is snatched off the street and sold into sex slavery and six months later commits suicide. A woman is beaten for two decades by the husband who “loves” her and turns to alcohol to keep from facing that which she was given.
Outlandish examples? I think not, and if honest every one of you knows that this sort of thing happens daily no matter where you live.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
God bless the pusher.
Tune it, drop out.
Mommy, why does daddy hurt me?
When will the pain go away?
Please make it stop!
And so it goes….
I have a slightly different take on the saying, and it states that God does indeed give us more than we can handle….but now we need to consider why that is.
Those who cling to the Old Testament of the Bible cling to a vengeful God who punishes sinners and rewards the just. Perhaps God is just dishing out punishment to sinners when He stacks the deck against some people. I mean surely that abused child of eight must have sinned at some time, correct? Pay the Piper young lady, and maybe, just maybe, the load will be lifted if you repent and accept The Truth.
Of course that’s so much hogwash, but I guarantee there are people who believe it.
Perhaps God just randomly selects people to suffer, some cosmic lottery where the lucky survive and the unlucky perish in a living hell. All well and good except that we are taught that God is all-loving and all-compassionate. Would such a God allow the vagaries of life to be nothing more than randomness?
When I think of this argument I think of something I was taught in 8th grade at St. Patrick’s School in Tacoma, Washington. When Sister Mary Catherine one day told us that African children who died without being baptized would go to hell, my mind when into rejection mode. How is it possible, I asked, that an all-loving God could allow those who have done nothing wrong, to be eternally damned? Even my impressionable and not-yet-entirely-developed brain could not accept that salvation depended on our zip code.
So if neither of those two options are believable, what are we to believe?
What I Believe
What do I believe?
I believe in mankind and not man.
I believe that none of us is an island and we need each other.
I believe in love, baby, love, and the sooner we embrace that four letter word the better.
And I believe that indeed we are given more than we can handle so that we will learn to help each other as we stumble and bumble our way through life.
If we do not learn this simple truth we will all be lessened.
I need you and you need me.
A rogue lion roams the Savannah in search of food. From time to time he takes down an antelope and drags it off to his lair. He guards it with vigor and viciousness. He meets his needs in a ruthless fashion. All is well in his world until the day comes when a pride of lions stands in defense of their territory, and eventually, banded together, they take down the rogue and end his roguish ways.
I was that lion.
I had grown tired of pain, and so to diminish pain that I associated with relationships and friendships, I eliminated what I believed to be the source of that pain. I was on a self-constructed island, fending for myself, providing for myself, trusting no one and needing, so I thought, no one.
And then the jackals howled, and the commitment to solitude threatened my very existence, and I was faced with a certain destiny on a road dripping with fear.
I found I needed people, and the fools needed me and yes, we all needed each other.
“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need.'”
Today I have everything I need.
Join me for some thoughts
Restless, Irritable and Discontented
Do those three words describe anyone you know? I’m willing to bet all of you reading this knows someone who epitomizes those three words. Perhaps….no, I was going to say that perhaps one of you feels that way, but that certainly couldn’t be true, could it?
I look around me and I shudder. I see war, I see hatred, I see bias, I see apathy, I see complacency, I see greed, I see far too much and I want to rip my eyes out and never see again…..and yet
I look around me and I rejoice. I see love and I see smiles and I see acts of kindness and I see charitable acts of mercy and I see not enough and I want more and more and more and…..
It all begins with me.
It all begins with you.
It all begins with all of us.
God has given most of us more than we can handle. True words those.
And so we turn to our brothers and our sisters, and we reach out a hand of assistance, knowing that when contact is made and flesh touches flesh, we are helping mutually and in so doing we are fulfilling our legacy as a human being.
And ain’t that grand?
Soak It In, Baby
My philosophy is kindness.
Can you say that?
How often have I heard people say: “How can we make things change for the better? I’m afraid, and I’m afraid for my children, and it is all just too much to bear, and what happened to common decency and compassion?”
Humanity One World!
The simple fact is that it is all too much for any one of us to bear, so we need each other, and the sooner we grasp that simple concept the better.
I need you.
You need me.
We all need each other.
I will start it off, for what movement can last without at least one person willing to step up and do what needs doing?
My brother in Nepal….I need you!
My sister in Wales….I need you!
My friend in Toronto….I need you!
My friend in Chile….I need you!
There, I’ve said it. I have knocked down my defenses and I have admitted my frailties.
Will you join me? Are you going to continue to walk the Savannah, ever-guarded but also ever-at-risk, or will you allow me into your pride where we can all watch out for one another? There is safety in numbers. There is pride of accomplishment in numbers. There is……
Love in numbers, and it begins with one, me, and two, you, and three and four and five and…..
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”