I want to talk to those who believe and follow Jesus for a moment. You have to stop saying: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Why? Because this statement isn’t true. God does give us more than we can handle. I can look back at my life and see that it is full of moments when suffering, hurt, and loss have been ABSOLUTELY more than I can handle.
When I was eighteen my best friend died in a car accident. It felt as though someone had punched a hole in my chest and squeezed my heart until it burst from the pressure. The depiction is graphic, I know, but there is no other way to describe the feeling of losing someone I loved unexpectedly. I felt tremendous pain.
Fast-forward three years, I was twenty-one when I received another phone call that would devastate me. A family member had been arrested for buying drugs from an undercover police officer. This is a person I admired and looked up to. In one swift moment, I found out that they weren’t the person I thought they were. I was overcome with grief as lie after lie came unraveled. I felt betrayal and even more pain.
At the age of twenty-nine, I received a text from my sister letting me know that she suffered the miscarriage of my nephew, Ambrose. I wept in the stall of a public bathroom as I thought about the smiles I would never see, the cuddles I would never have, and the giggles I would never hear. I mourned the life that would never be. I know the grief I felt was only a fraction of what my sister felt. Still, it was a crushing kind of pain.
Do you get my point yet?
These are very painful snapshots of my life. Moments when life was more than I could handle or bear. I was overpowered with grief and in some instances despaired of life itself. I identified with the words Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9a: “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.”
Can you also relate with his words? Can you look back and see instances when your life was more than you could handle? I am sure you can because we live in a fallen and broken world. One that is full of overwhelming experiences.
Since that is true, what hope do we have? Why would God give us more than we can handle?
Here’s why: God allows experiences to bring us to the end of ourselves because that is where we find Him. It was in my darkest moments that I cried out desperately to God. He drew close and put my burdens on His shoulders. His strength became my own. When I could not handle the situation on my own I could rely on Him to deliver me.
God allows experiences to bring us to the end of ourselves because that is where we find Him.
That is the point. One that Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 9b-10. “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him, we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us”.
So, next time you have the opportunity to comfort someone who is overwhelmed don’t tell them that “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Those words are cheap. Instead, tell them why they can have hope in their darkest moment.