When you get an early morning text from your sister-in-law who is caring for your dad, and the message is “Call me”…you think the worst.
This morning…it was the worst…for her.
…but her dad.
Last night, her full-of-life, golfer dad – who had just dropped by for a visit earlier in the day – had a massive stroke.
…now surrounded by his daughters…in a hospital with nothing but bad news.
My sister-in-law and I have talked on and off through the morning…and we (and many others…thank you) have prayed since the news of his stroke.
Will God ever give us more than we can handle? How are we to manage when hard gets even harder? We know from God’s Word that His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9)…yet the temptation to despair can be overwhelming sometimes. Then we’re given 1 Corinthians 10:13 to comfort us through those temptations. John Piper writes kindly and plainly about that situation where God gives us more than we can handle (here).
I’m reminded of a saying: “God may give us more than we can handle, but He will not give us more than He can handle.”……I cling to that…the saying less so than the truth I know through His Word and experience of going through hard, with Him.
Then…an incredible coincidence happened as we reeled from the news of this gravely stricken father.
A dear friend messaged me on Facebook and said that I had come to mind when she was reading this morning…it was a passage from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. (Lettie Burd) Cowman. This is one of my favorite devotional books (other favorites are linked below).
Christianity.com posts online the daily devotionals from Streams in the Desert. The December 3 devotional which my friend sent me follows in total. So led by the Holy Spirit of a completely good and wholly loving God.Photo Credit: Sharing Horizons
Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well (2 Kings 4:26).
Be strong, my soul!
Thy loved ones go
Within the veil.
God’s thine, e’en so;
Be strong, my soul!
Death looms in view.
Lo, here thy God!
He’ll bear thee through;
For sixty-two years and five months I had a beloved wife, and now, in my ninety-second year I am left alone. But I turn to the ever present Jesus, as I walk up and down in my room, and say, “Lord Jesus, I am alone, and yet not alone–Thou art with me, Thou art my Friend. Now, Lord, comfort me, strengthen me, give to Thy poor servant everything Thou seest he needs.”
And we should not be satisfied till we are brought to this, that we know the Lord Jesus Christ experimentally, habitually to be our Friend: at all times, and under all circumstances, ready to prove Himself to be our Friend.
Afflictions cannot injure when blended with submission.
Ice breaks many a branch, and so I see a great many persons bowed down and crushed by their afflictions. But now and then I meet one that sings in affliction, and then I thank God for my own sake as well as his. There is no such sweet singing as a song in the night. You recollect the story of the woman who, when her only child died, in rapture looking up, as with the face of an angel, said, “I give you joy, my darling.” That single sentence has gone with me years and years down through my life, quickening and comforting me.
–Henry Ward Beecher
E’en for the dead I will not bind my soul to grief;
Death cannot long divide.
For is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall
Has blossomed on the other, side?
Death doth hide,
But not divide;
Thou art but on Christ’s other side!
Thou art with Christ, and Christ with me;
In Christ united still are we.
Thanks for reading…hopefully you are also encouraged by the words above…they were a balm to my own soul. Appreciate your prayers for these I’ve mentioned. God is with us…through every joy and every sorrow.