I’ve been reflecting on two things for the past few weeks.
I’ve always wondered, in the grand scheme of things, why was Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, a carpenter?
Out of all the possible people God could have chosen for Jesus’ human parents, He chose a carpenter from Nazareth dating a young girl named Mary.
I mean, you would think God in His grand design would think of all the details right? He could have placed Jesus with a Pharisee as his dad, so that he could be raised in a temple. Or maybe a traveling merchant, so Jesus could see the world. I don’t know!
No, God chose a carpenter from a little unknown town in the middle of nowhere.
You have to understand, in Jewish culture, school wasn’t really a thing, and instead they did this thing called apprenticeship. 99.99% of the time, the sons were raised by their fathers to do the same thing the dad did.
If the dad did fishing, the son would learn to fish. If the dad did farming, the son would do farming. So technically, I think we can assume Jesus’ college degree was Carpentry from the College of What-Joseph-of-Nazareth-Knows.
I mean, carpentry probably wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind for the Saviour of the world’s job description. Jesus, the Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Lord of All, and oh yeah, carpenter.
Well, yeah. Anyway.
Does God give you more than you can handle? That’s a very misquoted and misunderstood saying I hear a lot.
Well, there’s some biblical basis for that.
Corinthians 1:10 says,
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.
He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
And it’s true. The fact that you’re reading this blog right now means you have gone season after season of problem after problem and yet you’re still here.
God will always be faithful to you. And so I believe that God won’t give you more than you can handle . . .
But only through and because of His grace. He will provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Don’t get me wrong, a way out doesn’t mean a free pass away from your problems forever. It doesn’t work that way!
There’s a reason why the that verse says endure, not escape.
Do you really think that problems are coincidental? Does God go, “Whoops, I accidentally dropped a problem onto your life, let me get that, *grace* . . .”?
Of course not!
That’s why I don’t believe grace is here to get rid of problems, rather it is a way through.
Grace never breaks the fall . . . but it does gives you a landing.
So really, it’s not a question of whether you can’t handle it or not, it’s believing that God will carry you through it all.
Maybe, just maybe, your problems are part of your purpose.
I think it’s common for young people to just push away their problems. And when you’re a Christian, we kind of use God and grace as an excuse, “surrendering” everything to Him. But surrendering is not just about surrendering the stuff happening around you, it’s surrendering yourself to His will.
And then, that poses the question, what if His will is actually what you’re going through?
You need to be willing to go through it all, though.
I’ve come to a realisation, that at the end of the day, your cross is your calling. You find purpose in your problems. God will use your sin to lead you to your salvation.
If you start running away, you’re running away from God’s way.
Think about it, every situation you’ve faced in the past, it made you who you are today.
So my encouragement for you is to never stop, because He’s not going to give you more than you can handle, through His grace.
Matthew 16:24 says,
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
When Jesus took up His cross, he took up all the sin and shame in this world. And as He was lifted up, bloodied and beaten, He was denying himself, and exalting His Father. On that day, the whole world got to see what real love meant.
If we want to follow in His example, we need to take up our cross.
He is not gonna give you more than you can handle—Jesus never asked us to carry His cross. But He did say carry YOUR cross.
You have to understand, your cross is tailor-made for you.
Often times, I’ve noticed God likes to work with raw materials. So those people He’s surrounded you with, those impossible situations where only He can transform, these raw materials, they make up your cross.
The very friends you have, the parents you were born to, the school you’re studying in right now, that’s your cross. Your passions, your insecurities and anxieties, your strengths and weaknesses, that’s part of it too.
When you choose to love your parents even if they don’t understand you, that’s taking up your cross.
When you choose to be an example of God’s love to your friends even if it seems cooler to well, not, that’s taking up your cross.
When you choose to trust in God even if it seems everything is against you, that’s taking up your cross.
He actually put it all together so you can bless all the people He’s sent to you. Your cross was designed for you. It’s in His plan, through His grace.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s why He’s a carpenter.
PS. I’ve missed you guys so much! I’m really sorry I disappeared for three weeks or so . . . I was in New Zealand and Australia for a bit, attending Hillsong Conference, and checking out what’s been happening to the Feasts in that area. It was really awesome, and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you through my next posts. I’ll let you know we’ll be getting back on schedule. So come back again every Wednesday, it’s gonna be great!
PPS. I want to invest my life into your life. I look at every comment, every message, and I want you to know that I’m here for you. You can always message me on social media, @benesanchez on twitter or @bene.sanchez on IG. Praying for you always.