“Don’t worry! God doesn’t give you anything more than you can handle.”
They even might say it with a smile. Since I have had a few hospital stays and issues in life I remember having either one, of the following reactions. The polite/hopeful reaction where I would say,
“Yes, you are right. He does not give me anything I cannot handle.”
And I would smile weakly and nod with them hoping they are right.
Or there was my not so pleasant, but still outwardly polite reaction which equated to; I silently nodded my head with the person, but in my head I am thinking…
”Really!? REALLY!?Because this REALLY STINKS! I am scared to death and I just cannot do this on my own!! I clearly cannot handle this so stop telling me I can!”
Now sadly, even though I have experienced this side of the fence. I too have fallen guilty to saying this phrase to others.
It comes out when I am so at a loss of what to say to them. I am relating to their pain, wanting so badly to offer some hope and then out comes that lovely morsel that even as I say it, the phrase sounds so… hollow.
I want to share something a friend of mine posted. She has a confounding concoction of illnesses that keep her homebound most of the time. A while back she posted a great point that has never left me. It was in response to that often quoted phrase,
"God never gives you more than you can handle."
She had heard it often in response to her illnesses and I am sure each person said it with good intentions. I think, as I shared earlier, often we as people do not know how to respond when someone has continuous struggles with physical ailments.
People gloss over the area where their doubts form about why God would allow this to happen, and yet He loves us and is all powerful.
I loved her response to that phrase. Her response was this.
Maybe instead of God giving us little trials, He gives us ones that push us beyond ourselves into utter dependence on Him. In His infinite wisdom perhaps He chooses to give us the things "we cannot handle on our own." so that we have to turn to Him and allow Him to handle them.
Isn't that what is meant by 2 Corinthians 12:9?
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Well I loved it when she pointed it out. It seemed like a silly fog cleared up in my head. These were all things that I knew, but I had not made the dots completely connect so to speak, between what was accurate to God and what had become a Christian catch phrase.
The best part is, God is completely dependable. He will never fail us. His mercies are new each morning and he promises to never leave us nor forsake us. So when you are experiencing those hard times whether they are your own or someone’s close to you, REMEMBER...
You have the Creator of the universe ready to meet your every need. Your times may be hard. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. Good times and bad will come to us all. You may travel through a painful and rough terrain in your life, but He will give you the strength and peace if you are willing to keep your eyes on Him.
He will bring great purpose and healing from this experience and everything is an opportunity to grow closer to Him. Each day good or bad is another chance to experience His amazing and everlasting grace, wisdom, peace, love and power. It’s also an amazing opportunity to live it in front of others who are so desperately seeking the hope that is found in Him.
Last of all, remember that even though some of these painful moments in life may be a surprise to us when they occur, they are not a surprise to God. He already has a plan set forth. If you are following Him then cling to it. Trust in His promises,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help) you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.