Some weeks ago I was visiting with a friend who was worrying over something that could possibly happen in her future. As we were talking about it, I was trying to be encouraging and helpful, so I said something like, “Don’t worry! God will never give you….” and she finished the sentence, “….more than I can handle. I know.”
On my way home I realized that I had said something very stupid and untrue. I know that God has promised to never leave us or forsake us; He has promised no temptation will ever be so bad that we can’t escape. But He never promised not to give us more than we could handle. In fact, He gives us more than we can handle all the time. If He didn’t, then we would not need to lean on Him for grace and strength. Paul learned how to be content because God gave him more than he could handle many times over. But Paul learned to trust God, and he learned contentment in plenty and in want. He summed it up by telling us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” If he had never gotten more than he could handle, he would not have learned to get strength from Christ.
Twins? Quadruplets? You’ve got to be kidding. But God gives more grace. Forgive that guy? I can’t. But God gives more strength. Speak in front of a large audience? No way! But God enables. Cancer? A house fire? If we simply look to our own resources, of course we will crumple. But if we acknowledge our weakness and look to Christ, He will carry us through.
Moses felt pretty inadequate for the job. “O my Lord please send by the hand of whomever else You may send” (Exodus 4:13). Jeremiah argued with the Lord, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1:6). I wonder if Mary didn’t feel a little overwhelmed at times. Think of Esther, married to King Xerxes of Persia. She must have been terrified when she approached the king to ask a favor. I am sure we could find many more characters who were given more than they could handle, and yet when they responded in faith, they were blessed. Daniel and his friends in the den of lions, Noah and his ark, Sarah and her promised son, the list could go on and on.
So join me in never saying such a stupid thing as, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Our God is much better and greater and kinder than that!