Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Too Much?

When I was first definitively diagnosed with MS twenty-six years ago it was a confirmation of what had been suspected ten years earlier by the second neurologist I saw because of my recurring symptoms. I was just 42 with still plenty of parenting left to do for our three daughters. I was involved in a busy ministry and trying to meet lots of needs. I had to wonder if God was giving me more than I could handle.

Recently I have been involved with some friends who are wondering the same thing about their lives. Though we live in a first-world country and are not refugees from a horrible war, we sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed.
In my book, Mind Change, there is a “power thought” I wrote to myself twenty five years ago to help me get my spiritual balance when in the early days of facing an uncertain future. It says:

“God has not given
you too much.

“If there is something you have to
face, you can face it.
If there is something you must
overcome, you can overcome it.

“To paraphrase C.S. Lewis:
”When something must be done, there is no use talking
about whether or not it can be done.”

                There are going to be times when it may seem we have been given an unfair and unmanageable load. But I am thankful for so many people through the years who have shown me that “God has not given too much,” and that living a full life of love is something we can still happily do, even with heavy burdens.  These heroes were not super saints, but just ordinary people who trusted God one day at a time. That is something we all can do if we will not lock into the idea that we have been given too much.


  1. I believe that God tells us that we can bear under whatever comes because He is there. On our own it is completely overwhelming, however, with God in the forefront, in the rear, and all around, we will get through. It takes a deep faith & trust.

  2. Thanks for this Tom. I have been thinking about this same topic recently and I think most of us can relate. I have been thinking in particular about the role of suffering in developing our character and relationship with God. I don't understand "why" but more and more I think I'm learning "how" to deal with it!

  3. aye, i often wonder what it was that Paul had wrong with him, then i think that he was sharing with us in his way how to live with stuff. just as you have to live with MS. his way of sharing an anonymous ailment helps us too to get through the tunnel of life. God be with you Tom, and all who suffer from horrible things, physical or mental. His love for us gives us the strength to carry on just another day. He loves us. our God is a great big God and He holds us in His hands.

  4. Amen. You have helped me realize that the issues that feel like they are too much for me are too much for me. They are not too much for God. Although deep down in my heart I want to run or roar. My best course is to look toward Him more. When I want to run or roar I am breaking down from trying to carry what isn't for me. Or even to carrying things properly.

  5. Thanks for this encouraging words. God be with you and all of us struggling to be righteous in words, in thought and in deed.

  6. Read this today in psalm 25...."My eyes are ever on the LORD,for only he will release my feet from the snare."...sounds like I am not alone...feel like I keep getting caught up in a snare a lot lately too! So comforting to see that we are all in this together...and that through our hard times...we are not alone...we have Jesus walking through it with us...and we have our dear brothers and sisters...thanks for your encouragement, Tom!

  7. hi Tom, saw this in the paper today and thought of you
    have a look see

  8. Thanks, Helen, I heard a report on it on public radio this morning. Sounds exciting, with some risk. Maybe better for younger folks, but I keep my options open.