Paying a debt

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

2 Samuel 12-13 – Nathan Rebukes David

More on this later….


I meet with a couple of very good friends every couple of weeks or so, whenever our schedules can all match up.  We basically have a little sit-down, informal discussion on how we are doing and how our relationship with the Lord is.  It’s been a very healthy thing for me to do, especially of late.

Going to these meetings, the ‘leader’ gets these little handouts for us.  It’s called Men of Integrity.  Can be found here:

Anyway, I was reading through it last week sometime, catching up on a few of the articles in there when I got to this one by Perry Noble.  It is as follows:

What he Said … A Misguided and Damaging Belief

Having served in ministry for more than two decades, I’ve seen a common idea that simply isn’t true dominate the landscape of the church. And in my opinion, it’s one of the most damaging beliefs a Christian can hold.

Here’s the false idea: “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I suspect we’ve all had this concept pitched to us at some point as one of the key principles of the faith. We’ve heard it from the lips of other Christians; we’ve read books about it; we’ve seen the phrase on bumper stickers. But I’m telling you, it simply doesn’t ring true—from the standpoint of human experience or from God’s Word. When we buy into this false idea, it only leaves us confused, frustrated, and angry.

The truth is, God often allows us to face more than we can handle. But it’s not because he’s cruel or heartless. It’s so we’ll stop trying to live life on our own strength and learn to depend on his.

Key Study Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

The little booklet has articles like this set up on a daily basis.  This particular one was dated April 7.  The 1st anniversary of Masons death.

I’ve always heard that God won’t give you more than you can handle.  Maybe that’s not true.  I guess God won’t give you more than He can handle.  That sets the bar pretty high, cause He can handle anything.  Everything.

So, maybe I’m wrong, but my interpretation of that is that God will overload us to teach us a lesson.  Just like he taught David a lesson.  Again, I’m no angel.  I’ve done some bad things in my life.  But, I think I could have gotten by with an easier lesson.  I’m still not sure what the ‘lesson’ is supposed to teach me.

All I know right now is that I am in a very dark place right now.  I spend too much time alone, away from my family.  During my time away, I have an idle mind.  Idle minds are a dangerous thing.


7 thoughts on “Paying a debt

  1. If you have any idea, no matter how small, that this was something you had a hand in, you have never been so wrong in your life. And, to think that you have any guilt, hurts my heart even more, if possible , than it already does.

  2. I am curious where you are going with this line of thinking… To be honest, though, I understand the sense of guilt. Does God punish a man for sin by harming his children? This goes against everything I believe about Him. He longs to love us – not punish us. Regardless, for me, I wondered what I had done and still felt it was my responsibility to die in my son’s place. So many people prayed for my son throughout the year of his cancer treatment. I have questioned God’s willingness to give good things to His children. There seem to be too many damn snakes and scorpions on my plate (Luke 11:11-13). Hang in there.

    • I’ve got my own demons. I’ve done many things I am not proud of. I’ve done many things that I am horribly ashamed of. No, I haven’t murdered anybody, but a sin is a sin. Whether or not they are all weighed the same in the eyes of God, I don’t know.

      I’m just in an incredibly dark place right now. I can’t turn it off.

      • Oh, Kevin. I can SO relate to the dark places. It got me thinking, and I searched my journal for a time when I felt what you express. I won’t apologize for its length. The following was about 13 weeks after Keith died:

        May 28, 2011, 1:10 a.m.
        Sitting in darkness, sleep eludes me. In numbness, I cannot sleep. No pain, no joy – like an inanimate object, I seem to merely exist tonight. God is no closer, nor is He farther, than He has seemed for such a long time. The only word in my thoughts tonight is “disbelief.” I cannot believe what has happened to us. How can this have become our story? Do I believe anything any more? Will I ever again feel joy living out an unknown future without my son? Excitement does not wait around the next corner – only duty, obligation, and this frustrating numbness.

        I cannot remember the last time I prayed and felt God was truly listening. How sad it is that the closest I have felt to God lately is during simple prayers before meals. In the span of thirty seconds, I do my duty to thank the Giver of all things. Yet, in the darkness when I should cry out the most, I have no words to say. My understanding of God has changed. He is the Taker of my only son.

        Why is everyone so quick to remind me that God has a plan in all this? Why am I so quick to deny myself the right to ask why this has happened? Yes, He is Sovereign. He is the only One worthy to reign over all creation. The day will come when our tears are wiped away, when we understand His plan, when we see the purpose of this loss, but this is little recompense for the here and now. I have joked lately that God and I are not on speaking terms. This seems to unnerve my Christian friends. They rush to His defense, reminding me that He is always listening and ever-present. These things I know. I have believed them. Do I believe them still?

        I want to know. Why has our life taken this turn? Why did God choose Keith in this way? We have searched for meaning. Many people were led to pray for us along the way. God has been glorified. I want to believe these things, but what did we do to deserve such loving-kindness? Yes, we live in a fallen world. Death is always creeping along, snatching away the good and the bad alike. I want to believe that someday I will understand the purpose of Keith’s death, so I can use the lessons I have learned to touch the world in ways unimagined. But will I abandon it all before that time arrives?

        In truth, I am angry. This ever-important element of the grieving process is what keeps me from talking to God. I want nothing to do with Him at the moment. I have not lost my faith. I know exactly where it is. I merely have no desire to carry it with me. If it happens to get misplaced, I am not so sure I give a damn.

        The darkness seems to be enveloped by light more often these days. I never believed it would. In truth, I have learned much sitting in the darkness of my soul. I expect you will as well.

        Grace and peace.

  3. Thanks for the “later” addition. It helps to clarify what you are feeling.

    From your words, it seems may be learning the most important lesson of all – that He never gives us more than He can handle. In the Bible study, Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby states that God will ALWAYS give you more than you can handle – because it is in those times that we learn to depend on Him. I hate it. To be honest, I have hated Him for it. I have spent so much time trying to learn the “lesson” about Keith’s death, but I am finding the lessons are not in his death but in my choices to live again.

    Oftentimes, I hear men expressing that they are thankful for the bad things in their lives because it makes them humble causing them to seek after God. These men have obviously never lost a child. To me, this logic is crap. I will NEVER be thankful for my son’s death, but I can be thankful for what God is doing to reveal Himself to me.

    Thanks for your transparency.

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