Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pray for Kate

For the past 6 months or so I have been faithfully reading about Kate McCrae's struggle with cancer. She is a six year old little girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor almost a year ago and since then has been going through extensive and painful cancer treatments. This afternoon, at church, I had the privilege to hear her parents speak about their experience and their faith during this incredibly difficult time. When I went to church I had no idea the McCrae's were going to be speaking and I was really excited when the worship leader mentioned their names. The McCrae family lives in Phoenix, but have lately been in Houston so that Kate could receive treatment at MD Anderson.

"God never gives us more than we can handle"

Aaron McCrae, Kate's dad, mentioned that the family has gotten a lot of correspondence imparting encouragement and/or advice. He said that more than once they have heard the above phrase: "God doesn't give us more than we can handle". He said that he often wants to reply, "yes...except that's not in the Bible!"

I was so glad that he said that! I have often heard that saying and it bothers me. I believe the original quote is from Mother Teresa and went, "I know God won't give me more than I can handle, I just wish He didn't trust me so much." I don't like it because I feel like it implies that "pull yourself up by your boot-straps" mentality - which it utterly unbiblical. The Bible is all about our complete dependence on Christ - not just for help through struggles and trials, but for even our every breath of life itself.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God sometimes allows us to go through more than we can handle so that we will turn to Him and realize our absolute dependence on His power, strength, and grace.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Jesus is not afraid to tell us that life is going to be difficult, but He also tells us to be encouraged because HE has overcome the world. Not because we have what it takes to stand up to this world. I think Jesus would be the first to say that we definitely do not have what it takes to live successfully in this fallen world. If we have any hope of living in peace and with joy in our hearts, it is only in living life through and for the Risen Christ.

I needed to hear that message at church today. For various reasons I have recently been going through a time of great pain in my life. Hearing more of the McCrae's story and about their faith in the midst of this great trial really helped me put things into perspective. They have a sweet little girl who is facing an unbelievably huge threat to her life. They have had to have discussions with her about the possibility that she will die. In comparison, my concerns about finding a career, friendships, etc. seem almost silly. I know Jesus cares about my concerns and eases my burdens no matter how serious or silly they are, but sometimes, like today, I just realize that I should not be so worried. I have a gracious God to rest in.

A few more things that Aaron McCrae said that really spoke to me were...

God will redeem our pain for His glory. If we will let Him.

Believe in God more than you believe in your pain.

That statement was huge for me because lately my pain has seemed so much more real than my relationship with God. I need to choose to believe in His love and presence in my life more than I accept and believe in my hurt and disappointment.

Lord give me the faith to trust you day by day.

Just today. Not tomorrow. Not next weekend. Just today. I just need to trust in Your goodness, Your presence, Your love, Your plan for my life today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

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