sydney's sidewalk drawing...elijah, sydney, daddy, mommy, kezia

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I could never do that...

...and another common misconceptions.

So, the family got to go to MN the other weekend.  We had the most wonderful time!  We got to catch up with classmates at our college's annual alumni picnic and spend some time with my (Naomi's) brother and his wife and daughter. 

This post is not so much about our time there as it is about an observation...or two.

Some of the best times that weekend were spent with our good friends Jason and Bekah Witt.  They are college classmates of ours and they and their lovely 3 little girls are currently home on furlough from their first 3 years serving as missionaries in Kenya.  The kids and I were fortunate to be able to catch up with them a few weeks ealier when the spoke at a church up in Green Bay.

Now, I can't remember where I heard it, college or the church, not that the where is important. 
Maybe it was inevitable, but someone made the comment,
"I could never do that." 

Sounds innocent and honest, right?

Well, while I understand what they meant, I completely disagree with this thought.

What exactly is it that you could never do?

Serve God in the place He calls you to serve? 
Live for Jesus in your daily life?
Cuz that is all Jason and Bekah are doing. 
(That can sound like I am trivializing their experiences and work, don't get me wrong, that is not the case at all!
These guys are my heros!  I am so proud to call them friends.)

They are living out a life we are all called to live...a life of obediance to Christ. 
Part of their obedience includes living in Kenya. 

Part of obediance to Christ right now for me in my family means learning to love my children with the love of Christ, to push through the struggles and lean on Jesus all the way, not just when I am ready to pull my hair out.  To love and repsect my husband and be the wife he needs me to be.

(I am sure much of this post comes out of frustrations with my own walk and lack of faith.  This is NOT directed at anyone personally, however I do find the current state of most believers to be truly sad.  Living for Christ needs to be our normal life, not just the stuff we think about on Sundays.)

What are some areas you are called to obediance in?

one other common misconception,
"God never gives us more than we can handle."

Where is that in the Bible?

I think people are thinking of 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says:
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

NOTICE, this verse is about temptation, specifically idolatry and immorality if you look into the context.  It is not about trials or hardships faced in life.

Or maybe people are thinking more loosely of Philippians 4:13:
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Again, CONTEXT.  The verse is referencing being content in all situations; hungry or fed, living in plenty or in verse 12.

Well, I can hear you say, these verses may not say it directly, but surely the concept can be found in the Bible. 

I'm not so sure.

I don't care how organized you are or how much of a motivational speaker you may be...leading several hundred thousand people out of Egypt seems like a task beyond any one man's ability.  (Moses)

Who is really strong enough on his own to endure the loss of all of his earthly possesions and his children all in one day?  (Job)  (If he was able to endure this in his own strength, I would think him a heartless and emotionless person)

I know what you are thinking, well, they did make it through those experiences. 

Sure they did, by relying on God for strength, not themselves.

Again, with Philippians 4:13.  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
While most people will quote the whole verse (because it would sound down right arrogant to simply quote, "I can do everything"), I wonder if we mentally edit out or ignore the whole "through HIM who gives me strength" portion of this verse. 

Wayne and I have discussed this a lot lately.  He comments that God often gives us more than we can bare becuase it forces us to rely on God's strength not on our own.  So to say that God never gives us more than we can bear seems to say that He is only going to give us stuff that we can do in our own strength.  Which is obviously not true because in scripture we are constantly told to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:16), to abide in Christ and that without Him we can do nothing(John 15:5).

John chapter 15 draws a picture of Jesus as the vine and we are the brances.  To think that we can do anything outside of the vine is simply immuture thinking.   A branch only gets its life from the vine.  The only way the branch can produce fruit is from the nurishment it recieves from the vine. 

Back to examples:
What about the guy that jumped on a ship heading in the opposite direction of God's directive?  (Jonah)

Did God give him more than he could bear?

If so, where does the fault lay then?

Or what about the many other examples of people chosing their own way over God's directive (also known as sin). 

Here's a few verses for perspective:
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

FYI, we are the foolish and weak things.  I am the foolish and weak thing who thinks she can make sense enough to type out this post about our need for Christ...hopefully it makes some sort of sense to someone.  I am the foolish and weak thing that relys too often upon my own strength (or stubborness) to get through the day, to do what is good and pleasing to God.  I am the foolish and weak thing, the lowly and despised thing that God has chosen to love and give the status of "child of God." 

Lets drop the cookie cutter responses, stop letting the philosophies of the world influence the church, and get back to the solid foundation...God and His Word.


  1. Oh Naomi, you are way to sweet to me. I do see that God has really laid something BIG on your heart. It is an inspiration to me- as I keep wrestling back and forth- "Can I really go back". If I answer in my flesh, it is a I do not think so. If it is in my spirit- it is "I long to be about His business." I think you hit it right on the mark when you wrote you are called to be a godly mother and wife, in every aspect that it means. I need to focus on that and not try to keep adding my own ideas on top of that. I am putting pressure to do more than I did on the last term- but God is not putting that on me, I am. Anyways, Thank you for this post. I love you.

  2. Thanks Bekah!
    I often (ok, all.the.time.) need the reminder that I am called to be a godly wife and mother, not matter how much or how little I am involved in other ministries. It needs to be my priority, and I don't always make it such.
    Love you guys so much!

  3. Great post! I love reading your blog! :)

  4. Hey Naomi-
    This was A HUGE encouragement to me! I've been battling with SO many things both spiritually and physically and to be so honestly reminded of who God is and the Power of is word was comforting!
    I can relate to Bekah with the going back and forth on issues, the flesh can consume our hearts and minds with all different possibilities etc. Thankfully we have the word of God to guide us and lead us....and THANK YOU Naomi for sharing and reminding us mommas of that golden truth! Love you girls a ton and Miss you too.....
    - Mara