In twenty-four hours, I had two friends contact me to utter a version of these words, “This is more than I can bear.” One has a strong faith. One believes there is no God. But each of them is struggling with truly overwhelming life circumstances.
I rarely find myself speechless. Words come naturally – my husband might say too naturally. But I have found myself blindsided by these calls. And rendered speechless. Two friends at the end of their respective rope, albeit ropes tethered to very different things. Hoping to find some hope at the end of the other line.
One crying out, “God, you’re wrong, I am not strong enough to bear all of this suffering.” The other saying, “If I believed in a God, I would think that he hates me.” What do you say in the midst of tragic circumstances? What comforting words would offer peace to a wounded spirit, or at the very least fortitude to ride out the hurricane?
I still don’t know. I went to the Bible, automatically turning to Psalms. But all I could think was that one woman knew most of them by heart while the other one wouldn’t hear the words because of their source. I’m not writing because I found the right answer.
I sent songs. As you may know from previous comments, God uses music powerfully in my spiritual journey. And on may way home from work, shortly after both of these phone calls, I heard these two songs:
One by Matthew West called Strong Enough:
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
For the both of us
Another by JJ Heller called Your Hands:
I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away
When my world is shaking
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands
And in the end, that is the message of our Saviour. That is the hope on the other end of the line. You are not alone. But you are not strong enough to carry it, whatever it is, on your shoulders. He is. And He is holding you. When everything around you is shaking. When you believe that it’s more than you can take. He is there. Whether you believe He exists or not, He’s still there.
Jeremiah 29 – “I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity…”
Job 5 – But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
Isaiah 49 – In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you…See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Matthew 10 – And He took the children in his arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.