How Much Can You Carry?

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

"We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank, and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor? Whose fault is it that Christian people generally have such scanty portions of the free riches of God?" --McLaren, as quoted in Streams in the Desert morning devotional

Reading those words, I took a momentary daydream break and wondered just how much gold bullion I could carry. Then I wondered how far I would have to carry it. Would I only have to get it outside the vault door, or would I have to get it to my car? Or, would I have to walk around with it on my back for the rest of my life? The distance I must carry it would determine how much of it I could handle.

Every day on the news we hear stories of loss and devastation, but we also hear about people winning the lottery…both ends of the spectrum are things we might wonder how on earth we would handle if we were ever to be put in that position. Receiving sudden, unimaginable wealth can bring its own challenges. Something that would seem to be such a blessing could end up being a curse, depending on how well prepared you are to handle it. But, like someone I know, a broken arm could reveal a tumor which, if left undetected, could have had much more devastating results than a mere broken bone. In that case, the broken bone was actually a life-saving blessing in disguise.

Who of us would refuse a fortune or fame if it was offered to us? While it could bless us, and many others as well, it could also destroy us if we were not strong enough to bear the far-reaching consequences of it - having the wisdom to manage it, handling all the requests from people who wanted something from you because of it; protecting your children from those who might try to hurt or use them, and/or protecting yourself and your loved ones from the corrupting influence of its power and limitless reach.

If I compare the story of the gold bullion to the anointing I have asked God to place on my life, I have to wonder how much I can carry. Only God knows the answer to that. Only He knows the true weight of it, and only He knows when – or if – I will ever be fully prepared and able to handle it. Several people who have carried a special anointing of God on their lives have said His mantel can be a great burden, at times, even though it is also a great blessing. We must trust God's wisdom and allow Him to strengthen and prepare us to carry the weight of the blessings we ask Him to give us before we try to run ahead of Him and get what we want in our own power. Not having any idea of its true weight, we cannot know if we are fully able to handle what we are asking Him for. Praise God that, in His mercy, He will never give us anything – blessing or a trial – that He has not already prepared us to bear. He loves us so much and wants to give us far more than we can imagine; but in His wisdom, He has the restraint to wait until He knows we can handle it.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for Your Divine wisdom that protects me from prematurely taking on the weight of anything that I would so quickly and carelessly take on, only to have it crush me as I tried, in my own strength, to carry it. I praise You for Your limitless wisdom, mercy and grace, and worship You for Your tender loving care over me each and every day. You are my Creator God, the Author of my existence; my wise Counselor, my devoted Father, my constant Companion, my dearest, most trusted, and beloved Friend. Please bless me to the limit of my capacity to handle it, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Additional Scriptures:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us!” Ephesians 3:20

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