It was the middle of the night and I sat there in the darkness, feeding my little newborn snuggled in my arms, with hot tears falling from my cheeks and landing on his. I kept saying, “God this is more than I can handle, how can I do this? How can I live like this?” I rocked in that rocking chair trying to make sense of my reality. Just days before, everything in my life had been turned upside down and I was still in shock that this was my life. My beloved husband had suddenly and unexpectedly died at age 30. He kissed me goodbye before he left for work, and within hours, he was in the presence of Jesus. I was left here with our precious three boys who were all under the age of three. I was exhausted from grief, the weight of death and the overwhelming thoughts of doing the future alone. I didn’t know how people could live through this crushing weight, yet here I was—awake and trying to take care of my baby, while my heart was broken into pieces. Death had stolen my amazing life I had and loved. This trial, this life of suffering I was called to bear, was really too much for me to handle on my own and it really was too overwhelming to even grasp. So many questions, thoughts and worries filled my mind of how I was going to make it through the unthinkable.
All I remember is suddenly in that room, through the cloud of grief hovering over me, I didn’t feel alone. I felt a comforting presence surrounding me. Jesus began to remind me of His truth, that because of sin and brokenness of the world, we will experience more than we can handle on our own. However, He promised to come and carry our burdens for us, to never forsake us, to guard our heart with peace in the storm, to never slumber or sleep but to gently carry us through each storm. God was reminding me that no matter what I tried to do or the strength I tried to muster on my own, I could not handle this trial alone. He alone could handle this. There were so many days where I felt as if I should be drowning, but instead I was floating on God’s mighty grace. His grace was something that was overwhelming and truly felt supernatural—that’s how He always works, in our utter weakness His strength is made more perfect and powerful so that He gets the glory, not us.
That night and for all these years, the strength of God’s arms have wrapped around my weak body and weary heart, and helped me stand when it was hard to even move. God alone has given strength to sing His praises through the stormy nights, even through the tears and the questions. He still gave a sacrifice of praise that I could whisper through the pain filled days. Even though this trial has been more than I could ever handle, I have never once had to handle it alone. God has always given me His portion when I asked. Jesus truly is enough, not our security in this life, nor our comfort in this world, not health, not in perfect relationships, not in living out our dream, not in our family looking the way we want, but just Jesus, He is the only lasting Hope, our greatest reward, and the greatest portion. He becomes enough when we loosen our grip on this world that we look to for fulfillment and instead cling to Christ with all we have, knowing He is sufficient for all our needs.
If Jesus can walk me through the valley of the shadow of death, I know He will walk you through your deepest pains and give you strength to call on His name. The reality is oftentimes, our situations are too much to handle, but that’s why God has not called us to do it alone. He wants to show us that HE can handle it. There is nothing too great that God cannot carry us through. Jesus bore the greatest weight of sin, death and brokenness on the cross, sacrificing everything so that we didn’t have to. He died and rose again, defeating death so that we can live abundantly in Him. Jesus longs for us to call on His name and exchange our total weakness for His everlasting strength.
May we trust Him in whatever comes our way—even when it is more than we can handle, thanking Christ that we never have to walk this life alone.