Friday, June 10, 2011

Great, God Just Glorified Himself All Over My Rug

God won't give you more than you can handle.

People used to spout that at me and I would seethe- at the age of 6. The implication is, of course, that if you fail to handle something, it's because you're lazy, not because it's too much for you. After all, god wouldn't do that to you. God is love. And killing Egyptians.

That is, of course, bullshit. Things happen because they do. Or because we cause them to. Or because somebody else caused them to.

This explanation, however, raises the level of horrifying:

God knows exactly how much I can handle, but oftentimes He chooses to display His glory by placing me in situations far above my ability to handle them so that He can come in and show Himself. Sometimes, He has to bring me to a point where I realize that I just can't do it on my own. It is when I confess, "I need you, Lord!" that He is glorified and freely pours out His grace.

I have taught a child to swim. At first, I supported her in water up to my waist for my own convenience, and well above her head, by holding her up with my hands on her stomach, so she could learn the movements of swimming without having to be able to float. Then we moved to the very shallow end of the pool and learned how to float. I chose the shallow end so that if she sank, she could just put her feet down and have her head above the water. Then we combined the floating and the swimming, with me intervening immediately as soon as I felt she might possibly be starting to have trouble. (Cuz drowning other people's children just isn't cool.)

The point is, were I god, according to this person's logic, I would have thrown this child into the deep end and only saved her if she clearly articulated that I was far better at swimming than her and she really needed help.

So, how many of you would pat me on the back and call me a responsible adult if I did that? And how many of you would hold my head under the water until I stopped arguing about it? Yeah, I'd do that, too.

But I should totally get down on my knees and thank the lord for allowing me to drown until I specifically told him how fantastic he is.


  1. Silliness first.

    (Cuz drowning other people's children just isn't cool.)

    I'd like to think drowning one's own children wouldn't be cool, either. Though having spent extensive time with kids, I often marvel at parents' ability to resist the temptation to do so that I can assume they feel at times.

    On a more serious note, I completely agree with you. Your analogy so perfectly explains the whole problem with a god who makes people's life miserable just so he can convince them (or others) how awesome he is.

  2. "See all those people out there? The ones who haven't killed themselves, the ones who aren't in institutions, the ones who are still able to leave their own homes? God didn't give them more than they could handle!"


  3. No doubt about it, God is a dick.

  4. I try to apply this sop to childhood leukemia, but I get an urge to be impolite.

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