Hi everyone... Look at me, actually blogging. :)
I'm working on some Christmas stuff right now, so I get to multi-task... kinda. ;) I just thought I'd update you on some thoughts that have been running through my mind over the past few months. I do have a disclaimer, though. Please, if you feel offended... turn that off. ;) If you live your life by these words, I have no desire to weaken your faith or belief. If you are afraid of that happening, please turn away now. Also, I may be wrong. I fully admit that. I just need to work things out.
As you know, my sister has been fighting brain cancer. To see more, visit her blog: www.serrylee.blogspot.com. As a result, I have been confronted with more Christian cliche's than I could EVER imagine I would hear. Ready?
God will not give you more than you can handle.
BULL. This is rooted in the verse 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
I have not done a word study on the word "TEMPTED" - I probably should have. However, all of the versions that I saw used the word tempted--not afflicted, not beat up, not drowned by sorrows... TEMPTED. To me that means just what it says--tempted. Not "when you have a lot of crappy things going on in your life." Regardless... even if it DOES mean something like "afflicted," it says that God will provide a way out... which to me means that it's got to be pretty bad to get there. Philipians says, "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me strength." ALL THINGS. All things seems pretty all-encompasing to me.
OK, now that I have the rant out... This verse is not a comfort to those who are suffering. That is one thing I have learned through this. It comes in a section of Scripture full of warnings... and I just can't get over the fact that it seems to only talk about "temptation." I will do some study on that and get back to you. In the mean time... please do NOT tell me that God won't give me more than I can handle... If I could handle it, I wouldn't be broken.
Just pray, that's all you have to do
Just pray. When you are hurting so much that you can't communicate normally, it is increasingly difficult to PRAY in the sense that these well-wishers mean. People have commented to me that as long as I'm constantly talking to God, I'll be fine. When I stop talking, then I've got a problem. I beg to differ. Check out Romans 8:26-27:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
Now THIS verse is a comfort. From the beginning of this ordeal, aside from the words, "Heal my sister, heal my sister," I haven't been as able to pray as other people would "like" me to. But I continuously lift my heart to my Savior and ask Him to understand the plea for help that is screaming from the depths of my being. THIS verse gives me hope that I'm doing it "right." I don't have those words to say, all I have is a wordless, often soundless cry out to God. And... He hears my unspoken prayer. For that I am thankful.
OK, there's a bunch more. But I've said enough. I guess I posted this on here because... I just want to make people aware. When someone is hurting, please don't offer them a tired phrase. Hold them. Love them. Pray with them. Cry with them. Listen to them. Acknowledge their feelings, because not many people do. Don't tell them how to "feel better" or "get over it." Just BE THERE for them when they need you.