“All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” ~ I Corinthians 10:13b (The Message)
Yesterday, as I was out running an errand, an ambulance flew by me, siren blaring and lights flashing. Unlike other emergency vehicles, something about ambulances always catches my attention. I wonder about the people the ambulance is rushing toward. Is someone hurt or sick? Is the person who needs the ambulance alone? Were they expecting a day would come when they would need to call or was this a surprise?
The day my husband got sick is a day that I won’t ever forget. He had gotten very ill in the early hours of the morning, but chalked it up to food poisoning. I was trying to get a little sleep, since he had been so restless during the night, but couldn’t from being so tired. When I heard him collapse on the way to the bathroom, I knew something was terribly wrong. I ran into our room, only to see him lying on the floor, vomiting. This moment may be the scariest one in my entire life to date. I felt so helpless, struggling to help my six-foot-tall husband up, crying because I didn’t know what to do.
I helped him down the stairs and to our car, knowing that there must have been guardian angels assisting a six-month pregnant girl trying to get her 200 lb husband down a flight of stairs and out the door. I drove to the urgent care center as fast as I could, all the while, telling my husband that it would be okay, we would get help.
The urgent care took one look at my husband and whisked him off, asking questions as I struggled to find the focus to fill out the paperwork – which wasn’t a lot, since they could see how sick he was. A signature, an insurance card. By the time I got back to him, my husband was already getting confused – which may be the worst part of meningitis. It attacks your brain, robbing you of your ability to understand. It is almost like watching someone have a stroke, as my husband couldn’t remember his name or what year it was. To see someone so intelligent grapple with simple questions is a gut-wrenching thing to watch. He knew who I was – wife – and that he was going to have a little boy, but rapidly before my eyes, he was losing everything else he knew.
The urgent care doctor informed me that they would be rushing him to the hospital, and that I should follow them to the ER, since I couldn’t ride with him in the back of the ambulance.
I stood there, clutching my husband’s things, watching them wheel him away on a gurney, florescent lights glaring off the whiteness all around me. In a few seconds, he would be in an ambulance that would go screaming across town to the hospital, where doctors and nurses would do everything they could to save him. But I didn’t know that it would be the last time that I would ever talk to him. That he would fall into a coma that he would never recover from. That the next thing he would see would be his Savior, not his wife or little boy.
God keeps secrets like this from us, and for good reasons. He tells us everything we need to know for today and for salvation, but things of the future He does not share with us. In doing this, I believe that He protects us and portions out only what we can understand. We can comprehend today, but not the knowledge of what tomorrow will bring.
After my husband died, a lot of people told me that God only gives us what we can handle. To which I usually replied, “Then He needs to ratchet back His opinion of me, because we’ve gone past what I can handle.” However, I think this abbreviation of I Corinthians 10:13 is inaccurate – God doesn’t give us only what we can handle. If that were true, nothing would ever get done for the kingdom of God, because as humans, we can’t handle much. A more accurate sentiment would be that God won’t give you more than HE can handle, because in every challenge you face in life, He is there to walk with you and help you all the way.
Wherever you are at in life, God is with you. He won’t leave you and He won’t give up on you. Cling to Him, because He is all you need.