When It’s Over Your Head, It’s Still in God’s Hands

5 Mins read

We live in a culture that teaches us to be as self-sufficient as possible. We don’t like to accept the fact that there are things that are simply too big for us to overcome on our own. However, part of our faith is rooted in recognizing that there are some things that are simply over our heads. Thankfully, those things are still firmly in God’s hands. Today, learn to set yourself free by accepting that there are some things that you can’t do, and that’s OK.

1 Kings 19:7-9 (NIV)
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

In these verses, we find Elijah coming off what could certainly be considered a winning streak. In 1 Kings 17, he had prophesied that a drought was coming to Israel, and God shut up the skies, not allowing any rain to fall in the land. Since Elijah was so close with God, God sent him to a place where there was still a brook that had water. Additionally, God sent ravens every day to bring him bread and meat. When the brook dried up, God sent him to a place called Zarephath. There, he met a widow woman who only had a little flour and a little oil. Through Elijah’s obedience, God turned her lack into a surplus, and she was able to feed him and herself for many days. It also provided Elijah with the opportunity to resurrect her son from the dead. Finally, just before the passage that we just read, Elijah stood toe-to-toe with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel where he challenged them to a test to determine that real God of Israel. After winning that contest, Elijah was threatened by Jezebel, who vowed to kill him within 24 hours after the false prophets died. That’s where we find Elijah in this passage.

If you simply picked up the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19, you would never know that he had been in such a season of victory. Before the angel appeared to him (for the second time), Elijah was hiding under a tree, begging God to take his life. Elijah wanted to die. He was so sure that Jezebel was going to torment and kill him that he was begging God to take his life before she had a chance.

You may find the words that the angel spoke to Elijah as a little odd. That’s because we typically view such interactions through the lens of our modern culture. Our society teaches us that we can do anything. “Just set your mind to it, and nothing is impossible!” Statements such as that one, while they are an attempt to be encouraging, are actually bad theology. You may have also heard these same people say that God won’t put more on you than you are able to bear. That’s also just not true. There are plenty of times where God will allow us to face things that are too big and too hard for us to face on our own. In those seasons, we are propelled toward Him, knowing that He can do what we can’t.

Elijah found out that his journey was too hard for him, and he accepted it. Will you do the same? The thing that you’re facing right now may be too big for you, and if so, that’s OK. You don’t have to handle it on your own. Just like He did for Elijah, God will ensure that you have everything you need for the journey in front of you. When it’s too big for you, it’s not too big for Him.

Overcoming Self-Reliance
2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

We often view seasons where we must accept our limitations as seasons of defeat. This is largely because we overvalue ourselves in our seasons of victory. Keep in mind, Elijah didn’t cause the drought. While he was a prophet, he didn’t have the power to shut up the heavens. Elijah didn’t feed himself at the Brook of Cherith, nor did he cause ravens to bring him food every day. Elijah’s power wasn’t what raised the boy from the dead in Zarephath, and Elijah didn’t cause the fire from heaven to fall down and destroy the prophets of Baal. God did all those things, but he did choose to let Elijah be a part of it.

Our seasons of victory technically have very little to do with us. That’s not to say that you’re not an important part of God’s plan, but it’s crucial to understand that we are not the Source of power in the plan. Every good thing that we see, and any good thing that we do is the result of God’s faithfulness and provision.

When you accept that what’s in front of you is too big for you, it does not mean that you are defeated. In fact, it’s the first step to victory. In the passage we just read from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian Church, he had the same realization. He was facing something that he couldn’t handle on his own, so he asked God to make it go away. Instead, God told Paul that He would give him the strength that he needed to deal with it. It was then that Paul decided that he could delight in weaknesses so the power of God could be made manifest in his life.

When you can’t handle what’s going wrong in your life, you aren’t defeated. When you realize it and accept it, you’re on the path to victory.

You Weren’t Built for This
2 Samuel 6:6-7 (NIV)
When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

The list of those who were allowed to even touch the Ark of the Covenant was a short one. There was an entire process that had to be followed for the Ark to be moved from one place to the next. The use of oxen to transport the Ark of the Covenant wasn’t in God’s commands for His people. The oxen stumbled under the weight of the Ark because they were never intended to carry it.

When we try to take on things that are too large for us, we stumble. It’s not because you’re too weak to deal with it. It’s not because you’re not good enough. Instead, it’s because you’re trying to carry things that you were never meant to carry.

Have you ever taken a small child on a long trip? If so, you have probably navigated a busy airport. Would you even consider handing your child the largest piece of luggage that you’re taking on the trip? Of course not! Why would you hand someone something that they were never designed to carry, even if the piece of luggage is filled with things that are theirs? You choose to carry it because you know that you can handle what he or she can’t.

God isn’t expecting you to carry the heaviest pieces of baggage through life, even if you’re the reason that a lot of the weight is in there. In the same way that you understand what your child can’t carry. God knows your limits, and He isn’t looking to punish you for them. You weren’t designed to carry all the weight, and you don’t have to.

A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for being bigger than anything that I could ever come against. Help me to stop looking to myself as a source of power in those moments where I’m in over my head. Instead, I will turn everything over to You. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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