Does God Ever Give Us More Than We Can Handle?
Does God ever give us more than we can handle? I was given a book that puts this question to the test. It’s a true story about the love of Christ, put into action in the truest form of radical abandonment.
In Kisses from Katie, the author, Katie Davis, shares her story of choosing to value God’s plan, His calling, and His love over everything else. As an 18-year-old teenager from Nashville, God gave Katie Davis “more than she could handle." God called her to forgo college (against her parents' wishes), break up with her high school sweetheart, lose all but a handful of her friends, all so she could move to Uganda to care for the fatherless and be a tangible witness of God’s love and grace.
Although I’m not living in a foreign country and experiencing the same form of Katie’s “more than I can handle”, I have experienced the feeling of heartbreak, betrayal, and being overwhelmed with tasks and to-do lists. All of these feelings have brought me to my knees asking or rather telling God, “You’ve given me WAY more than I can handle.”
In college, I would often hear from close friends, “Rebecca, God would never give you more than you could handle.” I believed their reason for saying this was out of love for me, but as I searched the scriptures, I found that there really isn’t a verse in the Bible that says God will never give us more than we can handle. After spending time in His word, I came to the conclusion that God is in the business of giving us, sometimes, way more than we can handle. Why? Because if we could handle everything (broken relationships, unemployment, the loss of a loved one), would we really need Him? If our lives, our situations, our problems, our relationships, our hardships were all "not too much to handle" then we would attempt to just handle it by ourselves, and we wouldn't involve God in the process.
The actual verse states “God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear”—(1 Corinthians 10:13). It does not imply that God won’t let you be strained, worried, or anxious beyond what you can bear, tested beyond your capability, or pushed beyond your brink.
Whenever I’m struggling with the season God has me in or facing things that honestly feel like WAY more than I can handle… I like to believe that God has put me in this situation and season for a specific reason, not in judgment or callousness, but in unconditional love so that I may depend on His strength and see His character in a grander light. It’s only when we can’t bear the weight of our circumstances that the strength of Christ jumps in… and He becomes everything we need and more. Concerning this topic Katie Davis writes,
“I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this “more than I can handle.” Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious. He reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shinning through out lives.”
There was a time, at the beginning of my walk with Christ, that I remember singing the lyrics to Chris Tomlin’s song Enough, specifically, “All of You is more than enough for all of me.”
I realized that I didn’t quite believe all that I was singing and God knew that too. I believe he permitted me to go through those “more than I could handle” moments to show Himself to be more than enough. In Exodus 3:14 God tell Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”… in simpler terms, “I am whoever you need me to be.” By myself I could not heal my heart from a broken relationship, by myself I could not extend forgiveness to the person who lied to me, by myself I could not accomplish all that was on my plate for work and school. BUT JESUS COULD!
Here are some I can’t statements that may help you as you allow Jesus to handle your “more than I can handle” moments.
I can’t turn a bad situation into something remarkable… He Can!
I can’t guarantee how things will turn out… He Can!
I can’t heal my broken heart and past wounds… He Can!
I can’t do the impossible… He Can!
I can’t see the big picture or my future… He Can!
I can’t restore a failed relationship… He Can!
I can’t fill my life with joy… He Can!
I’m so grateful that HE CAN triumphs anything that I can’t face alone!
Question: How has the Lord shown His faithfulness by giving you more than you could handle?