Originally posted on October 11, 2019
It’s been a few weeks. Things have settled down. It’s easy to relax and let go of the urgency that prompts our need to change ourselves and the world. But the intentional soul work that equips us to make the world a better place has to continue.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the phrase “God won’t give us anything we can’t handle,” especially when people claim that it is scriptural. It isn’t. There is so many things wrong with that phrase that I could possibly write a whole book on deconstructing it. It paints a picture of a chess master type god who created us as play things or test subjects. It paints a picture of people who are to be independent, living life without community or communion of any type, set in motion by a distant god who doesn’t care or desire a relationship with his created children.
I think mostly people use it to make themselves feel better about all of the dangers in this world, either to make them less scary or to let ourselves off the hook for not stepping out of our comfort zone and doing the hard things God asks us to do with his help.
In the Episcopal baptism service, the priest asks a series of “will you” questions about the manner of life all baptized persons are called to live. The response is “I will with God’s help.” We are not to live this faith-walk alone or do it on our own. God doesn’t want us to “handle things” without him. And when the world has let us down and the life we’ve built for ourselves crumbles around us, we can trust and believe that God is with us to be our strength and to give us the courage we need to heal and begin building God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Compassion can’t be lived out in isolation. Living a life of compassion means we let God shape our heart like his and that we, with God’s help, help each other handle all that this world throws our way. In doing so we paint the picture of a loving and compassionate, relational God who is with us in all things and at all times. Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone. Try something new this week that will show someone the compassionate God we serve. And know that God will give you what you need to do it. Thank you for walking this compassion journey with me. Together, with God’s help, we will make a difference.
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
Matthew 28:18-20 NRSV