In the face of all this, I can honestly say I feel no pressure to be the “pastor” and have the answer for this.
Honestly, even as a pastor, I have no answer for this.
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Don’t be fooled, those questions are only to be asked by the courageous.
It is easy to spout trite Christian platitudes designed to make people feel better with bumper-sticker theology.
Tell it to the girl whose innocence was robbed from her. Then, in that moment, the strength of the God of resurrection will be seen.
Tell it to the person crushed under the weight of depression and anxiety. Until we get to that point, we rely on ourselves thinking we can handle it and take care of the problem. I am expecting him to do this and so I will be actively looking and waiting for him to do something.
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Asking those questions requires courage because, in the end, it is very likely they will not be answered. Behind the questions is a deep current of emotion threatening to overtake us.
But too often, when the fracture in the universe threatens to swallow us up in pain we fail to get fully present to our emotions. Either we ask the questions but never investigate what emotion is driving those questions, or we resort to some banal Christian slogan to try and make us feel better.
Now that I have said how I feel, let me back up this argument with some actual Biblical evidence.
This particular statement, that “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” isn’t even in the Bible. 1 Corinthians says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humankind. Later, Paul will write it is when he is weak that the strength of Christ is seen.
This experience forced me to look at one such statement that gets spouted often when people go through a lot: Tell that to a survivor of Auschwitz.