You might be thinking there is a word missing in the title of this post.
Don’t people always say “God will never give us more than we can handle” ? Yes, they certainly do. However, that is a worldly belief, not a biblical one.
There is nowhere in the Bible where God says He won’t give us more than we can handle.
The confusion most likely originates from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says,”No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NIV) But this verse mentions temptations, not burdens.
In this verse, Paul is saying that we will never be ‘tempted’ beyond what we can stand up against in God’s strength, not that we will never feel burdened beyond what we can handle.
In fact, the past few weeks I’ve wondered if God was giving me more than I could handle, and I’ve felt very burdened – which is the reason I may have seemed a little quiet on my blog lately. But with so many concerns tugging at my heart and so many different people and loved ones needing my attention, it’s been hard to sit down and write! Not only because my time has been pressed, but my heart has been pressed as well.
But a few weeks ago, upon thinking about why there seemed to be so many burdens to carry, I began noticing that I was getting more and more hungry for more and more of God. As if exerting so much energy carrying my burdens had made me famished! Famished for God.
As a result, I’ve been waking up in the mornings, and the very first thing that keeps coming to mind is a desire to pray. I can’t help but pick up my devotion book and read through it before I do anything else, because I want to see if God has a nugget for me that morning. Maybe an answer to prayer or wisdom for the day. I’ve also been having a hard time turning off my Christian radio station, just in case God wants to speak to me through song.
You see, I’ve felt a little distant from God, due to so many distractions. It seemed He had been a little quiet lately too. So I began praying for new opportunities for closeness with Him. I longed for God to pour into me in fresh new ways. Yet, I had no idea what to do differently than the normal things I do every day.
But then one particular morning a couple weeks ago, I was feeling especially hungry — not for breakfast, but for God. So I bowed my head to pray, and asked Him what I needed to do. How I could feel closer to Him. How to feel better connected and in tune with His voice, even when life was noisy. Then I opened my daily devotional, and read this:
“I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs.” (Jesus Calling)
God is so faithful. I had just prayed about desiring to draw nearer to Him, and He already had the answer ready for me. I simply needed to be acutely aware throughout my day, and look for Him in the midst. Expect Him to be Present in my ordinary experiences in extraordinary ways.
The very next day’s devotion said this:
“TIME WITH ME cannot be rushed. Bring Me the sacrifice of your precious time.”
If I truly wanted to hear His voice loud and clear, and get reconnected, I needed to spend even more time with Him. Not the time I had to spare, but the time I didn’t have to spare. The time that was precious.
All too often, we think we don’t have time for God, and we begin to rely on our own strength and wisdom to handle life’s problems, gradually creating a chasm between us and God, and eventually plummeting us into a desperate state of despair. Instead of actively expecting God to step into our situations, we passively try to shoulder all the burdens, and eventually begin to feel weak and overwhelmed. We forget to seek God out in the big and the small situations.
We may even find ourselves questioning God about all that He is allowing us to endure, and wondering if just maybe He did give us more than we could handle. Friend, the truth is, He probably has. The old saying that says He won’t do that is merely a myth.
All throughout the Bible we read of regular people who were handed seemingly impossible burdens to bear but instead of trying to handle life on their own, they drew closer to God, fully relying on Him for direction and deliverance. We read stories of how God gave each individual more they could handle on their own and then filled them with strength and capability every step of the way.
Just like the characters in scripture, God longs for us to depend on Him when we are feeling overwhelmed with life and burdened by more than we can handle. He wants us to spend time with Him so we can be filled with what we need to get through each day.
In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
When our load seems too heavy to carry, it might be that God is not only waiting for us to recognize that we can’t handle it on our own, but also hoping that our desperation will build our spiritual appetite so much so that we wake up starving every morning.
No matter what life hands us, just know that God will never give us more than HE can handle. We can’t do it all, but He can.
And that is a fact.