We’ve all heard it at one time or another...
We are going through a difficult time, one thing after another is going wrong, bad news keeps turning up, we just don’t know how much more we can take! Then, a well-meaning friend will say it.... “Just remember that God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
Oh, really? What if I’ve lost absolutely everything that means anything to me (as in the case of Job in the Bible)? What if I'm so full of sorrow that I can't think straight? What if I'm so stressed out that I feel as if I would break into a million pieces if just one more bad thing would happen? Wouldn’t that be more than I can handle?
I’ve been there, you know.... I’m not “there” at this moment, thank the Lord, but, I’ve been there! (And, I know plenty of others who have been there, too - with some that are “there” right now.) But, you know what? It took going through tough circumstances that helped me realize I could NOT handle these things - not at ALL - not on my own, anyway! I needed the LORD to handle them for me - to bear/carry my burdens - instead of trying to do it myself. I needed to lean on Him for strength, just as we all do.
Many well-meaning people will use 1 Corinthians 10:13 to say God doesn’t give us more than we can bear: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.”
My husband pointed this out to me... If you look closely at that verse, you can see it has nothing to do with the trials or hardships we endure; unless, of course, one of your struggles is dealing with temptation. The verse says God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear (or resist, as some translations say). It says nothing about us being able to handle/bear our trials. In fact, I can’t find ANY verse in the Bible that says this (If I am wrong, please share!) But, what I DO find are many verses that tell us to rely on God for the strength we need to get us through the difficult times.
Ps 28:7 - The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.
Ps 37:39 - But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.
Ps 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Isa 40:31 - Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
and the list goes on...
So, does God give us more than we can handle? Sure, He does! But, He also provides us with the strength we need by carrying our burdens for us... IF we allow Him to.
We don’t always know the reasons for the things we go through in life - at least not while we are going through them. But, no matter what, it is helpful for us to remember that the Lord does love us and will always be there for us in our time of need. He is there to listen, to comfort, to bring peace and/or reassurance to our heavy hearts, and to bring us strength. Trust in Him.