by Kristin Fuhs, Set Me Free Ministries Board of Directors
The phrase “God will never give you more than you can handle” has been around as long as I can remember. And honestly, I have used it a time or two in my life when giving advice or in pep talks to myself. But, I am changing my thinking on the phrase these days.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not questioning God’s power or ability; however, I just don’t think the phrase is true. You see, I have come to realize that God can and will give you and me more than we can handle. Life throws us curves that overwhelm us and are much bigger than WE can handle, right? Now stick with me. I have in no way given up on God or lost trust in Him. I just think really looking at this long-time phrase teaches us a lot about trials and trusting.
We all have a list of moments, trials, or circumstances that have been overwhelming and caused lots of anxiety. A few on my list would be losing my dad, job loss, financial challenges, angry and hurtful words and actions, and distance from loved ones–and that’s my short list! And during times like these, the phrase “God never gives you more than YOU can handle” just doesn’t make sense or feel right.
You see, those are not God’s words. It is a kind and really nice phrase that we say to try to comfort someone going through a rough patch. But in the future, I think these words might be a better choice: In Matthew 11: 28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (NLT) These words from God’s love letter to us tell us that WE cannot handle the overwhelming curves; instead, we are to trust in God and give it to Him!
In this scripture, Christ is speaking to those of us who are carrying burdens much too heavy for our own shoulders. And in that one verse, He simply states the reason why we are given more than we can handle. It’s so we can come to him. It’s so we can trust Him enough to hand over our heavy, crippling burdens and let Him carry the load.
You may be feeling overwhelmed right now like I was before reading and rereading this scripture, which has never stuck out to me as much as it has lately. I don’t know your story. You might be consumed with sadness, overwhelmingly angry with someone, struggling to raise children, or dealing with the inability to start a family. You might be dealing with a terminal illness or facing the fact that you are losing someone you love to that illness. Maybe it’s finances, your marriage, or loneliness. The list is endless. But whatever it is, you have a Redeemer with arms wide open waiting for you to hand over your burden.
I’ve known this promise for such a long time, and even though I truly believe it, it is so hard to hand it over completely sometimes. That point when we slowly but surely, humbly surrender and cry out, “I need you Jesus, and I trust you completely”–that is when true peace and rest happen. I don’t know why it takes us so long over and over again to let Jesus carry our load. I suppose it’s because of pride and the dangerous thinking that we can handle things on our own. We get stuck thinking we can help others through their tribulations while carrying our own all by ourselves. Well, after today, I pray you will never forget that YOU have a Savior who loves you and is ready to take all the things in life YOU cannot handle alone.
God never gives YOU more than you can handle. FALSE
YOU are never given anything GOD cannot handle. TRUE
You cannot do it alone, friends! I pray that you make Jesus the answer to handling your problems and rough patches. Trust in Him. He’s the only one who can make it bearable when life is simply anything but that. But, it’s up to you to believe and follow these words: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”