Remember High School? Regardless of how prepared, organized or responsible you night have been, you had times you needed a hall pass. What do you do when you need to get a book from your locker or need to email that English paper to the teacher before the end of school? You go to the teacher that likes you best. You figure because they like you so much, they’ll give you a hall pass. All you really want is to get done what you need to get done without any hassles or problems.
There was a time when I felt that Jesus had given me a hall pass through life. I couldn’t imagine Jesus letting me run into any serious hassles or problems. This belief ended one day when I was sharing some of my struggles with my Bible Study leader. I commented “But it’ll be OK, God won’t give me more than I can handle.” And do you know what she said? “That’s not the way the verse goes Karen. The Lord won’t give you more temptation than you can handle. The verse doesn’t say anything about struggles.” The verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it goes like this: “ 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.” Although that’s great news about temptation, my Bible Study teacher was right. It doesn’t say anything about struggles. Sometimes life brings the unbearable.
The unbearable could be the loss of a child or experiencing uncontrollable pain or even helplessly watching someone you love in pain. There are definitely things that make you think “God, I can’t take it anymore.” So where did I get this idea that Jesus would give me a pass on any unbearable struggle? It wasn’t because I felt privileged. It was because I felt loved. It was because of my deep and profound belief in how much Jesus loved me. Like that favorite teacher that I knew would give me a hall pass, I couldn’t imagine Jesus letting me face the unbearable. But He does.
Maybe facing the possibility of the unbearable builds faith. After all, how much faith do you need to follow Jesus if you believe you’ll never face the unbearable? Not much. Real faith comes from yearning to do God’s will even if that road is tough. Even if that road is unbearable.
But here is the important thing: Jesus doesn’t want to be the teacher that gives you a hall pass and sends you on your way. He wants to be the one that places His arm around you and His shield before you and escorts you through the perils of this life. You see the teacher with the hall pass lets you leave without him. But with you walk grasping His arm, and clinging to His every step because you know if you walk into the unbearable, you better have Christ firmly planted at your side. Faith is not believing your protected from the unbearable but knowing if the unbearable comes, Jesus will bear it with you.