I was scrolling through Facebook this morning when I came across a headline that referenced the idea that God won’t give us more than we can handle. I couldn’t access the article, so I don’t know what advice the author had to offer, but now I can’t seem to get the idea out of my head.
Is it true? Does God only give us what we can handle?
When I think back on some of the most difficult moments in my life, the phrase just doesn’t sit well. I suppose I’ve faced too many moments that I simply couldn’t handle
All of my father’s heart attacks, especially the first
The four month span when I lost my Uncle Geno and my Grandfather
Surviving two years of grad school while working
The moments after giving in to sin when I feel full of regret
And all the times I’ve felt frozen with anxiety or trapped by depressive thought patterns
In these moments I didn’t feel like I could handle anything. I wanted to hide, I wanted to give up, I didn’t think I would survive.
So, if these moments were so difficult to deal with, why am I still here?
It’s not because of something I did, I can tell you that much. I’m not that talented or that stable. It’s because in those horrible, miserable moments that lasted days, months, sometimes even years, I wasn’t alone. God had given me challenges I couldn’t face, but He hadn’t required that I face them alone.
When I was sitting in the hospital, trying not to imagine the doctors coming down the hall to tell me my father had died in surgery, trying not to feel the sensation of my own heart dropping out of my chest, I caught myself whispering under my breath, over and over, “Families are forever, families are forever.” I reminded myself, over and over and over again, that death was not the end. I reminded myself that even if the worst did happen, I would still see my father again. It was the only thing that allowed me to keep functioning.
I did not handle that crisis. I did not keep myself calm and collected. I did not find a way to keep moving forward. Heavenly Father did ALL of it. He calmed me down with the truths of the gospel, reminded me that I wasn’t alone, and guided me toward the work I still had to do.
I guess that point of all this rambling is that I don’t want anyone facing the hardest moments in their life to think that something is wrong with them because they are not handling their own personal challenges (or daemons) very well.
I want them, I want you, to remember that you are not alone. No matter how horrible the situation is, no matter how impossible the future might seem, you can make it through.
Maybe the phrase shouldn’t be “God won’t give us more than we can handle.” Maybe we should say, “God won’t give us more that He can handle.”