More Than You Can Handle?

I'm stretched thin. I'm not just tired. I'm bone tired. I feel like Bilbo Baggins when he says, "I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread."

And it's not that I need to just have better life-decompression-strategies. I (usually) practice sabbath, (try to) set healthy boundaries, (often) swim like a shark, (try to) steep myself in scripture, and (especially during the summer) drink all the margaritas and "stress-relief tea" a girl could ask for. But even then, I can feel like one of those teeny pats o' butter scraped over too much freaking bread.

Because sometimes, no matter how well we destress, or how efficiently and productively we work, life can still throw us a curve ball.

And when more-than-we-can-handle-curve-balls happen in our lives, some well-meaning folk will rattle off the expression: "God won't give you more than you can handle." But here's the thing. I'm not sure that's right.

Sometimes we DO have more than we can handle. And I simply don't believe God is dishing out all those cosmic dung heaps we politely refer to as "curve balls."

Still, even if God doesn't "give" us more than we can handle, perhaps God sometimes allows more than we alone can handle so we learn to be vulnerable with God and with one another.

When I have "more than I can handle" I'm confronted by my own human fragility and limits. When I'm spread too thin, I don't have the luxury of being self-reliant. When I'm weak, I have no option but to ask for help. It's humbling, but (usually and thankfully) not humiliating.

Being pushed beyond what I can bear gives me space to be in authentic community. Sometimes it's not the idyllic community I once envisioned. But it's still a gift.

All to say, if you're like me and feel like you actually DO have more than you can handle, join the club. Or better yet, join me in trusting those placed in our lives.

How about it? Let's take a risk. Be vulnerable. Be real. Be honest. Be weak. Instead of "leaning in" with our own strength, let's lean on God and our community. In doing so, maybe we can find pockets of joy and moments of rest.