After experiencing horrifying tortures that broke his arms, paralyzed his hands, punctured his eardrum, beat his face raw and his buttocks so badly damaged he could hardly sit—Red McDaniel was put into isolation. It was almost more than he could take. He plunged into depression, asking how much suffering he had to endure to “know Christ in His suffering?” Scars and Stripes, p. 127
He needn’t have asked. No one could ever compare his sufferings with Christ’s. Jesus alone experienced them. Only he could, has, ever shall. However, McDaniel’s question surfaces a good blog-point.
If we feel we’ve reached the point where we can’t go any further—and find we MUST, we CAN. God won’t burden his people beyond their capacity to carry the load. That’s a promise from Psalm 78:39: “He remembered they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.”
That Psalm recounted Israel’s wilderness rebellion against God despite his numerous and repeated benefactions. When their sins exhausted his patience, he punished them. When they sought him in repentance, he responsded mercifully, not in anger.
When we think we’ve gone as far as human nature can. When we’re sure we can go no farther—trust in God. He knows what we can and can’t take. He may take us to the very edge of the difference, but he’ll never precipitate us beyond.