I cringe when I hear these words, "But God will never give you more than you can handle." I literally bite my tongue and start twitching. I've heard it said to others and it's been said to me more times than I can count. The intentions of those words are meant to be encouraging, but they aren't. Because if you are anything like me, when you are standing in the middle of the darkest season of your life, it IS too much to handle. And saying those words and believing them is just plain, bad theology.
When those words are spoken, they often are referring to the passage in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." We're talking about temptation here, not suffering.
Jesus tells us all throughout the New Testament to not be surprised when suffering comes. He tells us to even expect it. He invites us to "share in His suffering." Suffering is something we all experience. No one can escape it. Sometimes we think God's ultimate plan for our lives if for us to be happy. When really His plan for us is to be stripped of ourselves so only He remains.
That's a good Father. Giving His children what He knows is best for them... Him.
So when I hear those words about Him not giving me too much to handle, it can send my brain and my heart down a dangerous path. Because if He's a good Father, He knows me and every detail of my life, and wants only for me to look more like Him, then He knows the suffering I am enduring is too much for me to handle.
He knows because He watched my heart break over and over when I saw those negative pregnancy tests. He knows because there were days I couldn't even watch commercials on TV without aching to be a mom. He knows because He saw my heart break when I heard those results yesterday. He knows because He watched me melt in the shower. He sees me broken and crushed. And He and I both know it is too much.
But yet, in His goodness, that's exactly what He wants for me. When it's too much, He becomes more, and I become less. When it's too much, those rough pieces of my heart begin to be refined. The parts of me I continue to hold more dearly than Him, begin to slip away as He helps me open up my hands to Him.
When it's too much, I am exactly where He wants me to be. I nestle up in His lap, my weary head rests on His chest, and I am able to hear His heartbeat.
When it's too much, I run to my Daddy.
Of course He gives us too much to handle. If He didn't we wouldn't need Him. We would do hard by ourselves. Our hearts would continue to grow more independent of Him, and any victory would be for our glory, not His. We would miss out on the privilege, the honor, of knowing intimately the Creator of the universe.
I'm glad He gives me too much to handle. It takes all the pressure off of me to perform and allows me to put it back on Him, the Savior, the One who redeems, the One who has already done it all.
Let me tell you sister, God gives us too much to handle.
And He does it in the most loving way. His intentions are truly good, wanting us to become more like Him. So if you're like me today, standing in the middle of what feels like total darkness, with no end in sight, feeling like it's absolutely too much, just know it is.
So run to Him. Or crawl. Or stay where you are and He'll meet you there.
Let Him scoop you up in His big, strong arms. Rest your weary head on His chest and listen to the cadence of His heartbeat. Breathe in His nearness. Savor the smell of His faithfulness.
And let Daddy handle it.
Because He can.