”I need a do-over on this week.”
That’s what I told God while I was waiting for AAA to come unlock my car at the caf where I had locked my keys inside. That was Thursday.
A few minutes earlier I had received a text from my son-in-law that he was on the way to the emergency room to have his appendix checked. A few minutes before that, I had been in my car talking on the phone to my son, getting him auto insurance information. That’s when I locked my keys in my car.
And why was I talking to my son about insurance?
On Wednesday afternoon my son and daughter were rear-ended at an intersection in Amarillo. Four cars were involved in this chain reaction, and the person who initiated it had no insurance. Son’s car was crunched from both directions. Daughter wound up at ER with whiplash but no serious injuries.
It is hard enough to know that your kids have been in an accident six hours away, but this particular one was doubly stressful. And why was it doubly stressful?
Tuesday morning my son called me devastated because five members of the “Texas” musical drama cast had been killed in a car wreck Monday night (perhaps you have seen the news reports). My son was in the “Texas” cast last summer and filled in for three nights this summer while one of the lead actors was on vacation. These people were his friends. Three of them were his classmates in the theater department at West Texas A&M. One, whose stated goal was to be the “Tim Tebow of theater,” was a particularly close buddy.
Are you getting the picture of why I was ready for a do-over by Thursday?
Sometimes it seems that life hands you a heavy load. In those times, well-meaning Christians will sometimes remind you that God won’t put more on you than you can handle. There’s only one problem with that. It’s not in the Bible.
The verse that is often misinterpreted that way is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
That verse doesn’t mean that God won’t put more on you than you can bear. It means that you never will be in a position where you have no choice but to give in to temptation.
In fact, the whole point of following Christ is that life IS more than we can bear. If it will never be too much for us, then we really don’t need Him. The good news is that we can “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
So, God’s answer is that we don’t get a do-over. But our lives matter so much to Him that He will carry us through.
Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association, headquartered in Decatur.