When I was young, I used to pass along this well-worn adage to those facing tough times:
God won’t give you more than you can handle.
Oh, if I could only take those words back. If I said them to you, please forgive me. I’ve made a horrendous mistake.
The idea is based on 1 Corinthians 10:13: “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.”
Notice that the passage is all about temptation (mentioned 3X), not suffering, hardship, loss, or pain. It’s not talking about those moments when life feels like a stack of 1000-piece puzzles that fall from a high shelf, and you can’t put together the pieces again.
Yes, in temptation, God provides an escape hatch, if you have eyes to see and the courage to run.
But when a loved one goes missing, a perpetrator abuses you, the debt collectors don’t stop calling, the doctor delivers awful news, or the unthinkable and unspeakable happen, it can feel like it’s too much to handle. Because it is.
God will give you more than you can handle, but God will never give you more than He can handle.
As I sat to write you today, I felt the Spirit nudge. Someone desperately needs to hear this, even though it may feel impossible and fantastical:
You will get through this.
Not because you can, but because He can.
Take a moment and imagine yourself with Jesus. Let yourself fall into His arms. Press your ear against His heartbeat. Let the depths of His love wash over you. It’s safe. You can let it all out. He’s got you. He really does. Even in this.
I love you,
P.S. I don’t know if you’re near Eiliot, Maine, or Springfield, MO, but if you are, I know there’s a message of hope for you… and I’d love to hug your neck.