I’ll start with a simple statement: You can handle more than you think you can.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” – 2 Corinthians 4:17
When we were younger, my sister and I used to sing Hezekiah Walker’s “How Much We Can Bear” by ourselves. If you know Hez, you know that he writes CHOIR SONGS. But, we sang it with all of our might… the two of us!! We sang from innocent hearts and pure spirits, knowing that God would never put more on us than we could bear.
Fast forward some twenty years… Somewhere in the realm of “how much I can bear”, I have underestimated what I can handle and limited it to the mere ability of myself. The notion of this conclusion is irrational because, truth be told, I can handle nothing on my own. Absolutely nothing. On my own, I am a timid, fearful, anxious, weak, unmotivated person. My initially professed strength is weakened by the storms of life and I am left tattered and torn by those things that came to beat up on me. And, then, at the most inopportune of times, I realize that the answer to that question is “nothing – not one thing” – I can’t handle anything.
Thanks be unto God, though, who takes my own weaknesses and inadequacies and makes them SOMETHING. He takes what I cannot handle and makes me, through His power, an impenetrable force against the enemy. He puts His Spirit deep down on the inside of me, and He allows HIS strong nature to show up when I am about to face a battle. This season is teaching me, slowly but SURELY, that I am showing up for a battle that I will WIN because I am not facing it alone!! It is teaching me about God’s perfect strength that shows up at the very moment I feel most depleted and delivers divine strength to combat every fear.
I would have never thought I could handle a potential stillbirth. I would have never thought I could handle now 59 days in the NICU. I would have thought I could never handle every single plan going the opposite of its original intent. But, God has taught me that this life is not about what I think I can handle. It is about what He has equipped me to handle for the sole purpose of bringing more glory and honor to HIM! This has been one of the most challenging seasons of my life – full of things I never thought I could handle and then constant reminders that God has never and will never put more on me than I am able to bear.
My husband and I (and our amazing family, too) have had to be there for each other. I will never forget the last time we took communion, earlier this month. We stood beside each other and took the body and took the blood of Jesus as a unit. As we stood at the altar our Pastor decreed the healing power of Jesus’ blood and told us that our children (who were both still in the NICU at that time) were healed. He told us that we had already experienced the hand of God and that their lives were already miracles. We knew this then, but the verbal reminder was the confirmation our spirits needed to keep holding on. After communion, we embraced each other and just wept. If you know my husband, you know that this means so much. At that point, all that we had endured felt like literally all we could handle. But, guess what, three weeks later, we are still in place handling what we thought we could not and stronger than we thought we ever would be.
Brother! Sister! If I have learned anything about this place, it’s that we are stronger and more powerful than we ever imagined. Never thought you could handle hearing a piece of devastating news? You can! Never thought you could balance the pressures coming your way without caving? You can! Never thought you could do whatever the enemy has told you you’re not strong enough to handle? You can! Why? Because, greater is HE that’s in you than he that is in the world. The Champion (Jesus Christ) that lives inside you shows up just when you need Him to - to fight the forces of the enemy designed to destroy you. That thing that has been strategically placed in your path to weaken you will make you stronger because you have the armor that cannot be penetrated!!
This season has taught me that, while things do not always go my way or go as planned, they are working a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. What we are going through now is designed to equip us to experience the weight of glory that cannot be tarnished or taken away by the trials of mortality. In their infancy, my babies have taught my husband and me that our faith must be unwavering and that God’s plan is for His glory – always. We are blessed to be witnesses of His grace – even in what we thought we could not handle. We are blessed to be overcomers of the enemy’s lie that we could not handle that. And, we are blessed to stand on the Word of God in the most difficult of times and decree that we cannot be shaken.
Finally, from the Message Version (because sometimes in our trials we have to go to the most basic language to make our decree into our atmosphere and against our enemy). “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG)
Be encouraged that something is working behind the scenes in all of this and that you will look back on these days and know that it was ALL GOD giving you a testimony that is unshakable in His inimitable GRACE!!
We are NOT giving up! (And, you're not either!!)