I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have heard or even repeated the phrase, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” over the past decade or two. It’s something that has been so ingrained into me that I am not even sure that I ever even considered whether or not I thought it was true. However, it is a question that has new meaning for me as it is one that I have asked myself repeatedly over the past few months since we lost Ben. Not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself, “has God given me more than I can handle?”
I came upon this scripture three times in my Bible reading and devotionals over the past week, and it really hit home for me. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 says, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. 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. But this happened so 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.”
Paul says they were under great pressure, far beyond their ability to endure. I know the feelings and emotions that go along with that. Some days I feel like there is pressure from every side. I feel the pressure to make decisions now, the pressure to not make decisions too quickly, the pressure to try to grieve the way that everyone else does, and the pressure to please everyone that I come into contact with. Some days I feel like it is beyond my ability to endure it.
In the past six months, I ran out of gas twice and the kids and I suffered the consequences of a cold house and the price associated with it. I have had to jump more car batteries, and lawn mowers than I can count. I have debated the choice between buying and renting a house and I have faced the decision of whether this is the right season to continue homeschooling my children. I have broken up more fights than I would care to admit and have spent countless hours crying about how I might be ruining my children.
I wonder how I can be the one left here to make these decisions and choices alone, when I was perfectly content in marriage allowing someone to make all these same choices for me. And on those days sometimes it does feel like a death sentence… not because my life is awful (it’s far from it); but because I realize that it could perfectly well be God’s plan for me to remain in this place, pressed on every side, for the remainder of my life.
But then we get to the next part of that scripture, where it says, “But this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God… He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again.” I can’t think of a time in my life when I have relied more heavily on God for anything than I do right now. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I lost more than Ben on August 15, 2017, I lost the part of myself that was dependent on someone else for my happiness… the part of myself that thought that I had control of anything in life. I was left an empty shell of a person with only God to rely on and count on to meet my every need. And He has done so, more abundantly than I can ever imagine and hope for. I wake up every single day and am reminded that only HE can deliver me from this place I am, and only HE can provide for my every need, if I rely on HIM!
More Than I Can Handle?
Friends, God gives me way more than I can handle every single day of my life. Bills to pay, decisions to make, lawn mowers and cars to fix, a house to clean, fights to break up, and people to please. But every one of those pressures comes from something that I am blessed to have in my life… children, friends, family, a house, a car, and the list goes on. I can’t handle a single bit of the pressures of this world without Him. And I am incredibly grateful for the fact that with this pressure comes the unquenchable desire to rely on Him and only Him to meet my needs. God definitely gives me more than I can handle, but He equips me to handle it in ways that I never thought I could.
If the pressures of this world are pressing in on you, I hope that you too will find strength in relying on Him.