Loving and Leaving

rachel and ralph 2

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1 – NLT

When Abram/Abraham was 75 years old, God called him to leave all that was familiar and go. God didn’t give him directions; He basically said, “Follow me, I’ll show you where to go, and I’ll let you know when you get there.” Trust me, and walk with me.

Because Abraham loved and trusted God, he left the familiar, his family, his home, his job, everything! He left because God was more important than anything.

This is my Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ralph. On December 23, 1965, they left their families of origin and promised to walk with God through good times or bad, sickness or health, riches or poverty until death parted them. They walked with God as they started their own family and weathered the storms of life. They are continuing to walk with God as everything familiar fades into the rear view mirror and they become strangers.

You see, Uncle Ralph has Alzheimer’s, and Aunt Rachel is losing him a little bit each day. The familiar is gone. The unknown lies ahead.

No one said that following God would be easy, but no one expected the path to lead through Alzheimer’s. Because Aunt Rachel loves Uncle Ralph, and God, she walks where God leads.

People say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle!” Unfortunately, that isn’t true. God won’t allow temptations to overwhelm us, but he does allow difficulties that do.

The truth is that God does allow more heartache and hardship than we can bear. If he didn’t, we wouldn’t need to trust Him and we would assume that we could take care of everything the evil one throws at us. We would spend our days trudging through life trying to endure in our own strength.

Even the Apostle Paul was overwhelmed by difficulty…

“We do not want you to be uninformed …about the troubles we experienced… We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.”

But, Paul doesn’t stop there…

“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead.” – 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NLT

It is not easy to follow God. It wasn’t easy for Abraham – his failures are recorded in the Bible! It’s not easy for Aunt Rachel. And it won’t be easy for you.

However, if God is calling you away from the familiar, you can be sure He is with you. He is all-powerful and he wants you to rely on Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And, you can rest assured that nothing is too difficult for God!

What is God calling you to leave behind as you begin a new year? What is He calling you toward? Do you love and trust him enough to follow Him wherever he leads, even if the path leads away from the familiar and into the unknown?

23 thoughts on “Loving and Leaving

  1. Sandy Carlson

    What a true to life example of what it is like to trust Christ and follow Him. Thanks for your encouragement! I sent it to our son Dave, to encourage him!


  2. Tammi

    Marcia, this is one of the best points regarding suffering that I have ever read!!! And yes, all my life I have heard “God never gives you more than you can handle” and wondered why it didn’t feel like that. This is excellent point on this topic, and I thank you for your wisdom and sharing it with us!!!


  3. Tammi Lothson

    Marcia, this is wonderful!!! I wanted to share it with people, so I copied and pasted your link and sent it in several emails with a note about how gifted you are as a speaker. What I wondered is do we have the ability to share your link and the day’s posting on Facebook after we read it? I can’t seem to find that option on your blog. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place. But this would be great marketing for you!!

    How is enrollment in your classes coming?

    Love, Tammi

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. maggymrp

    Love this post!

    I’ve had people say to me during this season, “Maggy, God won’t give you more than you can handle.” What scriptures are being misconstrued??? Eeek, I wouldn’t be surprised if I said it to others. :-/

    Wow, it just dawned on me the dangerous part of the statement “…. more than I can handle” — so I handle what’s happening! I will then trust in my self-sufficiencies. But to say, “God will give me more than what I can handle” scares me and will cause me to run to Him because I know I don’t have it in me/ the resources to get through it. Ooooh, cool new truth. And a great conversation topic when I hear that from well intentioned gf’s. Again, great post. I’m wanna print it and put in my Bible 🙂

    Also, what a sweet pic 🙂 Yeah, Alzheimer’s is heart-breaking on loved ones. A very distant family member had it and it was hard on the immediate family esp. the spouse.

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Yes, Maggy, the verse that people misuse is 1 Corinthians 10:13 – In that verse, God promises to not let temptation overwhelm us – and He promises to give us a way out so that we can endure; ie: we don’t have to fall to temptation!! But, there are countless examples in the Bible of people receiving more than they can endure on their own (Job!).

      I’m so glad this spoke to you – God is so faithful to meet us right where we are, isn’t He!
      Love you


  5. Vonnie

    This devotion is just what I need today, Marcia! I’ve just gotten a very disappointing message from someone I had hoped would choose God’s way, and now I run to Him w/ tears of brokenheartedness. Thank you for reminding me that He is brokenhearted too and will use this as a means for me to trust Him constantly!!


  6. Thank you dear Marcia to help me and others to remember that struggles here are for a purpose…to teach us to depend on Him “I look to the hills where does my help come from? Our help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth.
    (Psalm 121:1-2)
    Bless and love you. Christine


  7. anne

    Somehow after reading this, it makes it easier to accept heartache, troubles.
    Knowing that God is teaching us dependence on Him helps!
    I don’t like it, but I get it.


    1. ♥ Isn’t it so much better to know we are to rely on Him, than thinking we haven’t yet met our “limit of what we can endure”…
      Though God does allow heartache/trouble/etc so that we develop our spiritual muscles, He also allows it so that we run to Him…. hmmmmm, I wonder if THAT is how we develop our spiritual muscles??? 🙂


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