This week I have heard the phrase “God won’t give us more than we can handle” multiple times and it’s bothering me. It’s bothering me because it’s not true.
God DOES give us more or allow us to go through more than we can handle. No where in Scripture does it say that he won’t. The verse that people most often use to back this saying up, 1 Corinthians 10:13, talks about temptation/testing. He 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.” This is talking solely about the temptations we face and that God will always give us a way to get away from that temptation (i.e., pornography, lying, etc.). It is not talking about our trials and difficulties that we face. In fact, God says in Scriptures that we will face trials.
John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
The dictionary defines “Tribulation” as “a cause of great trouble or suffering; a state of great trouble or suffering.” This doesn’t say suffering, but on a small scale, it says GREAT trouble or suffering. That means that it will be big and it will be hard.
One example is my life in the last 4 years, I couldn’t handle it, not without God walking me through it. Several times I wanted to give up and be done with it all. I couldn’t handle the stress and pressure and uncertainty on my own. I wasn’t built to. But God in his great mercy and grace walked me through it. He kept my feet going. He kept waking me up in the morning and seeing that I functioned as best as I could each day.
Another example is a precious friend of mine who’s son was diagnosed with an unknown auto-immune disease. His little body can’t make the antibodies he needs and he has to go to the hospital once a month or so for infusions so that they can keep him healthy and active. Given the right circumstance, my friend knows that her son could die. She was given more than she could handle on her own.
So why did God ask these things of us if they were more than we could handle? Because He wanted us to lean on Him. In these 2 examples our 2 sons were born with these problems. They didn’t ask for them and neither did we, but God saw fit for whatever reason. During these hard times God wanted us to lean on Him, to trust Him, to know that He will take care of us even if the worst happens.
Let me say it like this – The statistics for Bipolar people are not good. The chances of my son living on the streets, living at home, or not even living at all are very high. I know what his life could look like in the future. That’s not something I can handle and daily I have to lean on God to relieve the stress that comes with worrying over the present and the future. God didn’t give me less than I could handle, he most definitely gave me MORE than I could handle because He knew that if I would lean on Him then even if the worst things happens and my son is no longer in this world with me, that I will survive because I will KNOW that God is in control and is holding me up.
I know I won’t be very popular with this train of thought on the subject, but I also know that truth can change the way we see God and the way we live our lives. It’s changing mine!