When God DOES Give You More Than You Can Handle

I recently saw the book by Lysa TerKeurst “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” on sale at the bookstore and decided to grab it for a friend of mine who was going through some unexpected trials. As I read more about it, the book encouraged you to read it as a ministry tool. So I did… and boy was it GREAT!!! So I passed the copy along and started an online Book study reading it with friends so we could grow together and glean from each other. What a difference a group makes! How blessed are we to have ways to connect with others in the ways technology allows today.

Anyway, this week’s topic is a great one, and it came at such a time in my own life that it hit a nerve… a good one, but a nerve all the more. We have this phrase that goes around and catches on that says, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” It seems to be comforting, peaceful, and empowering… but it’s false! There are so many blog posts, facebook memes, articles available that will explain why this phrase is wrong, but Lysa seems to do it so well in her book.

I do not want to break any copyright laws… but will quote her book, see pages numbers so you can read for yourself.

Page 112 says, “God doesn’t expect us to handle this. He wants us to hand this over to Him. He doesn’t want us to rally more of our own strength. He wants us to rely solely on His strength. If we keep walking around thinking that God won’t give us more than we can handle, we set ourselves up to be suspicious of God. We know we are facing things that are too much for us. WE are bombarded with burdens. We are weighed down with wondering. And we are all trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense. Before we can move forward in a healthy way, we must first acknowledge the truth about our insufficiency.”

When you were created, you were created by a Creator that desires a relationship with you. So when hard times fall upon you, or are a result from the life around you, you NEVER have to go through it alone. We live in a society that desires to empower us and tell us all the answers are within… so what does the poor person do when that just isn’t correct? When they have hit such a low spot that they just simply cannot dig any deeper? I’ll tell you what happens… they fall into a deeper pit. They feel worse that they can’t help themselves. They feel worse that they have no strength… and many times turn to outside means to dull the pain they are feeling, which zaps their strength even more. And for many, eventually death seems to be the only way out. And a lot turn their backs against God because they believed the lie that God does not give them more than they can handle. So when they can’t handle it, they blame God.

So please for all things good… stop listening (and spreading) this lie. God is your helper. He is there to carry this burden. You were NEVER meant to carry it alone. It’s not that you are bad for not being able… it’s that you were never meant to. He didn’t create you to be a loner. He created you so He could have a relationship with you. He wants you to lean on Him. He wants you to speak to Him. He wants you to be led by Him. God is good and has good things in store for you. Hurt is not always a bad thing. God allows it to shape us through the experience. This is where faith comes in.

We must choose to trust God. This is the part where we surrender and say, “I can’t do this alone, I don’t NEED to do this alone. I NEED God.” Whether you’ve ever done this before or not doesn’t matter. This prayer, this initial prayer is the beginning of that relationship you need, “God, I need you. I can not do this life alone and on my own. I need a savior. I’ve made a mess of things by trying to do it all alone and I’m surrendering. I know you died on that cross FOR ME! I know you rose from that grave to be alive FOR ME! So I give up trying to live my life separated from you and I accept your invitation for help! I give this life to you, please help me!”

Page 119 of “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” by Lysa TerKeurst says, ” When we seek God, we see God. We don’t see His physical form, but we see Him at work and can start to see more of what He sees. Trust grows. If our hearts are willing to trust Him, He will entrust us more and more of His perspective. Matthew 5:8 teaches us, ‘”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”‘ If we want to see Him in our circumstances and see His perspective, we must seek Him, His ways, and His Word. That’s where we find His good plans and promises for home and a future.”

It is impossible to trust Him for the future when we don’t have that relationship with Him. We will soon begin to misunderstand His plan when we don’t get to know the plan maker. We will see this daunting life ahead of us and we’ll stop believing that God created us to do this WITH him. A relationship with Him helps us sift through the lies and the truth. When you get to know someone you are more likely to discard distasteful gossip about them because in your heart and mind you KNOW the person. When we KNOW God we begin to love God and we can easily toss aside the things that are contrary to what we know and love.

I can’t put it any better than Lysa does in her book.

page 117 says, “God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. But to partner with Him in His work of transformation in our lives, we must seek Him with all our hearts. It’s our choice whether we stay stuck in our hurt or get renewed in our hearts.”

When we begin to believe that we have a Creator who created us with a relationship in mind, we begin to realize that all the trials and frustrations, and “not supposed to be this way” times are all known to Him, Jesus, as well. He isn’t surprised by any of them. And He’s willing to walk with you through them, teaching you, stretching you, building you up all along the way. He IS who he says He is! He WILL DO what He says He will do (never leave you nor forsake you!!!). So the question is yours to answer… Will you trust Him? Will you allow Him to lead you? Will you let Him take what you can not handle?

Admitting that you can’t do this on your own… is nothing more than saying, I’m not 10 feet tall. No one faults you for failing to measure in at 10 feet tall, you simply weren’t created that way. Acknowledging that you need saving is simply allowing the One who knows what He’s doing… DO.

Your circumstance won’t disappear (although God does have the power to do so if that’s what He has planned to do), but you can have help in the midst of the trial. You can trust that you WILL come out a better person as you trust and follow His leading.

If you need more help getting to know your Creator, please reach out. You can email me at thepastorswifeslife@gmail.com

You can also purchase Lysa’s book in many places, Amazon has it at a good price… and it’s WORTH IT!!!

And if you are desperate… I wouldn’t even mind mailing you my copy! Email me and I’ll work on shipping it out… You were created for more than trying (and most likely failing) life alone. Jesus is waiting to help you… will you take His hand?

Hello, My Name is Pastor…

At a Bible camp back when I was in 10th grade (so think 25ish years ago) I sat on my knees at the altar and prayed about my future. I remember very vividly feeling called into “Ministry”. That “calling” seemed vague to me, and TERRIFYING! I remember discussing this solid feeling from God with my counselor and my youth pastor and saying, “NO WAY will I become a pastor!” They encouraged me that ministry came in many forms and by the end of camp I was thrilled to follow God on this path… even if meant I’d “minister” as a teacher or something.

In my early years of college I served church by running a small church’s children’s ministry. I loved every lesson and time in the kids church each Sunday. I loved hanging out with the pastor and his family and seeing all the behind the scenes of church ministry. I also loved short term missions trips and to raise money for those trips I would travel and speak to youth groups, and on occasions Sunday morning services. One in particular was a small rural church who was between pastors. My heart leaned so far into full time church ministry but cringed every time my pastor or friends would suggest I become a pastor. Before the summer was over my Freshman year I was asked to be THE preacher of that small rural church. They would help me, a 19 year old, with the overall decisions of the church, but they wanted me to preach each Sunday. I turned that down as I needed to finish college and the drive was too far… but man, I LOVED preaching.

In my early 20s I found myself at a “bridal college” (Bible College) and honestly decided to attend the school because I wanted to MARRY into full time ministry. As early as 8 years old I thought being a pastor’s wife would be such an honor. By the time I was 20, and had made some friendships with some pastors’ wives, I wanted to at least give myself an opportunity. It didn’t take long before I was in the best ministry position I could ever ask for.

For 18 years I’ve had the honor of getting to be the pastor’s wife. I seriously love it. I am at home in this position, and the teamwork within church ministry has filled my heart more than I ever thought possible. So it was always discounted in my mind when I felt that urging to become a pastor myself. I had excuse after excuse.

“I have my own ministry, why do I need a ‘card’ to validate that?”
“I truly love being THE WIFE, and don’t want to be THE PASTOR… so what purpose will the title serve?”
“Our church does not need another pastor, so why add the ministerial dues in order to hold credentials with our organization to our budget?”
“Why do I need credentials or title!!!???”

And yet, prayer after prayer I felt the same. I was literally arguing with God even when I was asking Him what He wanted.
God: “Do this.”
Me: “I don’t need to do that!”
God: “Do this.”
Me: “Really, I don’t need this, it’s a dumb idea, why?”
God: “Do this.”
Me:……… “Well… fine!”

But really it wasn’t until this past May at a Pastors’ wives retreat that I sat, again on my knees at the altar, that God showed me that calling 25ish years ago. But unlike then, I knew what it looked like. So within the week I started the procedure to get all my Bible credits transfered (thankful they did after 20 years!), I took the one class I did not have, finished my interviews, and was approved by the Assemblies of God and am now Reverend Stevie Ciske licensed to preach, marry, and bury! haha. I hold the license for 2 years then can pursue ordination.

Why do I share? Because although I didn’t walk around for 25 years in utter disobedience. I truly believe I filled the calling I felt I was being called to at each stage in my life. But my disobedience has been present for a few years now as I felt God speaking clearly and I kept reminding Him why His plan was a bad idea. Will I ever lead a church? I pray my man will always hold that position, I pray I will always be the pastor’s wife and not the Pastor… but I want to be open to the ministry God does have for me. If the title “Pastor” opens that door, I want to be ready to walk through. If having credentials shows others they can trust and listen and believe what I say… it’s worth doing. And if my only purpose is to say “Yes” to God, then I have done good.

Saying, “Yes” may not mean the same thing to all people. For me it has meant marrying the man of my dreams… after just 3 mo of knowing him. It means opened doors to point others to Jesus that I didn’t even know were doors… It means leading me to churches, states, and people that have enriched my life… It means bringing joy beyond measure… and fear turned delight. Being obedient to God is my best decision ever made. I am ashamed of how often I’ve said no, made excuses, or argued myself out of blessings. However, I am so blessed that He continues to speak to me and allows me to say yes.

So what is God asking YOU to do? Is there an argument happening in your prayer time? Is it time for you to throw your hands up, give God the reigns, and desperately say YES to God? I don’t know what this “yes” will lead me to, but once I did it, I have no doubt it’s going to matter at some point. At some point I’ll say, “OH, So THAT’s why I did this!” and believe me… you will NEVER regret saying “Yes” to God.

I’m still… and will always be The Pastor’s Wife… but maybe now I can be Pastor Pastor’s Wife. HA!