Updated: Aug 30, 2022
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18)
There are times I've wondered exactly how much affliction God thinks I can handle. I have wondered how much all humans really can bear, too. A difficult pregnancy? A stillborn baby? Preterm delivery? Abuse? Being divorced when I was more in love than ever? Cancer diagnosis? Rebellious teenagers? A parent's death? A sibling's death? Serious injuries from a vehicle accident? An unexpected pink slip--downsized out of the job? Family members turn away? Eviction? The car broke down when there is no money to repair it?
When any, many, or all of these "afflictions" belong to you, in desperation, most of us consider bailing out. "I have had enough! I'm done!" But no one would understand suicide. Maybe a temporary escape? No. Alcohol and other drugs do not eliminate the reality of what happened. It is still there--tomorrow. "Okay, God! Obviously, you don't think this is too much, but seriously? You must have your people confused! I AM NOT JOB!" But what if I am? What if YOU are? We look at Job's trial and say "NOPE, not me! I am not the one!" What if God has been looking at me, looking at you, and saying to all the host of Heaven--and the devil himself: "Have you considered my servant (Your Name)? Job 1:8 If you KNEW God had chosen you, would that change what you would decide you really could bear? Would you give thanks for being chosen for that load? That trial? Would you still ask, "Why me? Why THIS?" And if not you, who would you rather it happened to? Who would you prefer to have had to carry a load that had been designed for you?
In the middle of fiery trials, Jesus still says, "MY burden is light." (Matthew 11:30) When your boat is about to be swamped by the ferocity of the storm on the lake of your life, He still whispers, "Be not afraid." (Matthew 14:27) God calls us to live, to thrive where we are planted. He enables us to go through. He calls us to live and thrive in the crucible. That is the life He has chosen. Realizing that, I find comfort in the words: "When He hath tried me, I will come forth as pure gold."(Job 23:10) I am being purified in the fire of affliction. "..our light affliction, which is but for a moment..." (2Corinthians 4:17). So, from my crucible, I cry out, "Lord Change Me!"
Prayer: Lord, help me trust that you do know how much is enough.