I have to be real. Today I lost it. Like really lost it.
I became so overwhelmed with work and comparison and all sorts of icky feelings that I found myself violently closing my laptop, storming out of my house to the pool (Arizona in January has its perks), rubbing suntan lotion on my legs, and pathetically sobbing as I said, “Whatever, I quit! I don’t know how to do this anymore!”
Okay, I admit, it was a little dramatic. Okay, okay…REALLY dramatic.
But sometimes you just lose your cool and that was one hundred percent me today.
Girls, I know how hard it can be to feel like our life is spinning out of control, our joy is depleted, the weight of the world is hangin’ out on our shoulders, and hope seems lost.
I know those icky feelings of comparison and inadequacy that creep into the corners of our hearts when we see all that everyone else seems to have figured out or accomplished.
I know that worry and anxiety that stops us mid-march as we sift through bank accounts, bills, and future goals, just trying to see how it all fits together.
I know that pain that comes when disappointment drops in, when we lose someone or something we love, and when we walk through trials just longing for a triumph that feels so close yet so out of reach.
And more than anything, I’m all too familiar with that famous question, “God, what are you doing? Why are you giving me too much to handle, again?!”
I mean, it’s a valid question.
As I stuck my pouty lip out and crossed my arms in an attempt to live in Pity-ville today, the sun beat down on my face and helped me realize that it’s not only a valid question but it’s a valid question with a very valid answer.
It actually brings to light something we tend to overlook in the middle of our troubles.
Do you wanna know what it is?
It’s simply this:
God will ALWAYS give us more than WE can handle. But He will never give us more than HE can handle.
Why? Because it helps us see our need for Him…when we arrive at a place of total surrender, when we throw our hands up in the air and say, “I just can’t,” He steps in and says, “I can.”
If we have any hope of moving up and out of the trouble, we have to surrender, to let go, to lie down our own ability to fix it and say, “SOS. I can’t fix this. I’ve got nothing. I’ve exhausted all my resources. This is really bad and broken and outside of my control. Giving this one to you, Pops.”
Because He knows what He’s doing.
Does that mean we don’t try? Of course not!
Does that mean we don’t persist and press on? Not in the slightest!
So, then, what does it mean?
Surrender does not mean to quit. Surrender means to submit.
To submit to the circumstances, the unknown, the present struggle, and place God has us with a deep-seated trust that this pain is not purposeless. His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8) and sometimes submitting to His ways doesn’t guarantee that it’s all going to be fixed overnight. But ten times out of ten, it will bring a glory so great that the present sufferings aren’t even worth dwelling on (Romans 8:18).
Trusting God doesn’t mean we won’t have trial in this life. In fact, Jesus said that we WILL (not might) have trouble in this life BUT that we are not bound to that trouble because HE has overcome the world (John 16:33).
I didn’t overcome the world. Some days I’d like to, though. We didn’t overcome the world. Although sometimes we like to try.
Despite our best efforts on our best days and our greatest behavior and movements as mankind…only ONE man walked out of the grave for me and for you (Luke 24).
So even if it seems like a heckuva lot, if you’re overwhelmed right now, please understand that it’s okay to walk away for a little while. It’s okay to break down and cry. But it’s not okay to live there. It’s not okay to set up camp in Pity-ville.
Because He’s offering you a one way ticket out of there. You just have to drop your feeble efforts, angry tears, and sunburned cheeks at the cross. In other words, when we move out of our pity party and into greater glory, all the little pains, frustrations, and trials along the way are part of the story not the end of the story.
Hang in there with me, friend. God is big and mighty enough to handle this but not so big and might that He doesn’t understand or step into your pain. Because Jesus felt and walked through your very pain. He carried it on His shoulders and nailed it to a cross.
And He didn’t march out of the tomb just for us to stay stuck in the tombs life tries to bury us in, right?
So strap on your Jesus sandals and keep on marchin’ with me. Press into Him, cry on His shoulder, lean into His hugs, and roll that stone aside.
And take heart. He has overcome the world (John 16:33).