God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

There’s a certain phrase I’ve come to really dislike.

All my life, I’ve heard this phrase whenever I go through a rough patch. *And by rough patch, I mean a prickly, gnarly patch that leaves me bleeding to near death*. You’re probably familiar with those kinds of “patches”.

“God will never give you more than you can handle” is the phrase I’m referring to.

more than to bear

And it’s a sweet sentiment, really. The people who say it are speaking from caring and concerned hearts.

BUT–it isn’t true.

I know that sounds harsh, but I promise I haven’t suddenly lost my mind or have become an angry-with-God bitter woman who hates the world. Actually, when I realized the simple fact that God can–and will–give us more than we can possibly bear, it got easier.

And it all started to make more sense.

I’ve often trudged through trials that overwhelm me. Ever since my childhood there have been trials that have made me “grow up” pretty fast. But granted, I know for a fact you’ve had your own fair share too, because that’s the reality of life. But this last trial is the one that shook me to my core and had me searching like a mad woman for answers as to why it was happening–and how I could possibly even survive it.

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I lost my Dad to cancer last month–if you’re a follower of mine, this is old news. But–it was absolutely horrific.

Every day leading up to his death was like walking through every level of hell–slowly– for lack of a better term. There’s no other way to describe it. The images…the sounds…the sleepless nights…the cries for God while we look on, helpless…the torment of rubbing morphine in his cheeks, praying it’ll absorb–but to no avail. The horrible, wrenching pain that came with lifting him up, laying him back down, lifting him up, laying him back down…because he became so restless and cried out for “home” every few minutes. And all along, in the back of my mind, I reminded myself that millions of people go through this, and have already gone through this, very thing. And it is simply unbearable. If you disagree–it’s because you haven’t been there.

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This trial was so consuming that I hate to even put it in the past tense–sometimes it still consumes me. Yesterday, at my Dad’s memorial service, it consumed me all over again.

I’ve suffered from nightmares where I relived the memory over and over mercilessly–I sometimes see his face on strangers that pass and worry that I’m going crazy. I cry over sad songs in the car and torture myself with stacks of pictures and yellowed photo albums. It’s beyond just missing him. And even with a firm testimony of the gospel and with peace that he is exactly where the Lord prepared him for, it is still too much for me to handle at times. It steals my breath–and it can steal my joy.

crying2

So, the other day, I turned to the scriptures. I needed help.

I wanted to know where that phrase was that people kept repeating to me in church and at work and over the phone. Why did the Lord “trust me so much”?! Why did He think I could handle these kinds of trials?

And then I realized: I couldn’t find that quote because it isn’t there.

It never mentions anywhere in the scriptures that the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle. Yes, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks of Him giving us an escape from temptations so that it’s not too much to bear. But when it comes to pain, trials, heartache, and burdens– not once does it say it won’t be more than we can bear. Instead, it beautifully says this instead:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)

carrying man

The words struck my heart, as you can imagine. Christ is speaking to those of us who are carrying burdens much too heavy for our own shoulders. And in that one verse he simply states the reason why we are given more than we can handle: It’s so we can come to him. It’s so we can trust him enough to hand over our heavy, crippling burdens and let him carry the load.

You might be heavy laden right now like I was before reading and re-reading and re-reading once again this scripture that has never stuck out to me as much as it has lately.

trsut

You might be shrunken with sadness or drowning in debt. You might be overwhelmingly angry at someone at church or aching under the pressures of raising children or maybe the inability to have them. You might be dealing with a terminal disease and you still have young children. And chances are–you might need your Redeemer to find you on the path and take up that heavy cross you’re dragging. Besides, even he tells us that he’s more equipped to carry it, so why not hand it over?

I’ve come to learn–slowly but surely–why I need Him.

I suppose it’s because of pride that I always thought I could just do things on my own. I’m strong, I’d say. I’m a tough cookie. I can help others through their tribulations while carrying mine all by myself. Well…wasn’t I wrong.

at jesus feet

I didn’t really know what needing him meant until I had no other choice. I didn’t know what it meant until I wrapped my arms around my middle so I wouldn’t fall apart–or the time I choked on tears and yelled toward Heaven. Or the times when I was utterly alone, and the silence was too much to bear. Those are the times that taught me he’s not just a want or a convenient symbol of love or a reason to do good deeds.

No, he’s the very air we breathe.

And he’s the only one who can make it bearable when life is simply anything but.

1,645 thoughts on “God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

  1. I work for Children Services… I also have the gift of discernment… I know that she has spirits.. thereby corrupting my son… all my praying and taking a thority over those evil spirits,
    has still not resulted in deliverance of my sons.. God is letting them be destroyed.. surely they can be rebuilt. but at what price will this come.. I know the devil wants to take them out before they can be born again. please pray for them..G & J
    and she is y. thanks again

  2. and to top it off, not only do I work for Children Services but I have the gift of discernment… I know that she has demonic spirits… they have admitted to that too… yet evenly as young adults now, they choose to live under her evil rule… years of prayer binding the devil, has not yielded to my sons deliverance from bondage… I bear no ill will against her b it demonic oppression or mental illness. but for whatever reason God has chosen not to deliver them or her. priest pray for my family

  3. additionally not only do I have the gift of discernment of spirits, and have been binding the devil for years now… for whatever reason God has chosen not to deliver my sons… I also work for Children Services.lol.

    they have made their choices.. learning to let go is a painful process… she has taught them the sure path to destruction… and they sop it up like biscuits and gravy… please pray for my family, thank you.

  4. Oh, Sweet One… Not more than you can handle but definately more than you care to handle. You are strong and worthy to overcome this life and HE will prove it to you. A child made of HIS own hands through HIS heart. You can do this life. Life will be wild, crazy and bumpy but you are graced to be an overcomer. ♡

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  6. I have been saying this for a long time and you are the only person I have heard that disagrees with this not so true phrase. I hate hearing it. If it were true then why do people commit suicide is my come back. Sorry about your dad!!!

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  8. I am with you Kayla and Jackie. Misreading, or not reading far enough, in the scriptures is why people get this wrong. Eg 1 Corinthians 10:13. People seem to stop reading after ‘…above that you can bear…’ But the scripture goes on to say ‘…BUT will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that he may be able to bear it.’ He will provide a way if we reach out and ‘yoke’ ourselves with Him.

  9. Stumbled upon this so randomly, but what a blessing. You have resolved my long-term inner conflict at hearing this phrase. Such a beautiful, poignant, well-expressed realization. I now understand why it never quite rang true. Because it isn’t. Or at least, it is incomplete. Blessings and hugs to you!

  10. Well, God doesn’t actually give more than one can handle. He gives us the grace to live through the suffering as the word says “My grace is sufficient for you”.

    “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2)
    Basically, sufferings make us stronger, and sufferings are signs of God’s love for us. The best thing you can do in times of suffering – give thanks to God.

    Okay then, so what about:
    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)

    The yoke that Christ is talking about is the yoke of sin.

    Also, finally, here’s something I’d like to share with you:
    “Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (1 Cor 2:9)

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  12. I’ve been there a pain brought on by a mental thing. I can[t explain but often wonder why. iT seemed to serve no purpose except to test my strength which seemed ridiculous to me. Now I have breast cancer and hope He doesn’t make me die in a lot of pain and I’ll just go peacefully.

    • The “mental thing” was a wrestling match with the devil. Ephesians 6:10-12 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Webster’s dictionary tells us that to wrestle is to struggle in opposition to, strive and contend just like in Jude 3. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful of me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Not knowing that you are in a spiritual wrestling match makes it difficult to win that wrestling match.

      As for your cancer; I have prostate cancer and have been standing on First Peter 2:24 for about 5 1/2 years; “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” When I found out I had cancer in April of 2009 God had me totally change my diet. I will never encourage someone not to have medical treatment, but a change in diet will also help speed up your recovery. My diet change consisted of no meat, diary, sugar or bread. I juiced veggies only and had a “Popeye” smoothie for lunch everyday. I also had avocado for supper until the doctor told me in April 2010 that there was no cancer in my prostate. Reply to this if you are interested in hearing more-Bill

  13. Please help me my gf is good nd i am nt lost her. I love her extremely bt she is very angry nd up set nd her no.+919752629997 please help i don’t live without her .i am not sleep correctly last 2 months that’s it please help me

  14. I lost my mother to cancer on November 13th. We got her formal diagnosis on October 7 and by November 13th, she was gone. What you have written is like reading my life. It’s the first thing I have read that has had any resonance of truth or understanding to what I’m going through. I appreciate this. I appreciate you for acknowledging things I have been feeling but have been worried to express out loud. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this – it’s been just over a month – but reading this did help. One of the few very, very few things that has. Prayers for you as you continue to work through your grief and loss, too.

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  18. Excellent article.
    I don’t know what faith you are of, I am LDS.
    In the Book of Mormon there is a part that tells of a righteous people who had heavy burdens placed upon them. They were forbidden to pray, but still prayed in their hearts. The Lord did not immediately lift the burdens, but instead have them strength so they seemed light.
    Sometimes the Lord allows us to be burdened so we can remember to be humble and submit ourselves to His plan for us.

  19. I have never had a problem with that phrase because, in my own mind, I have always interpreted it to mean “more than we can handle WITH HIS HELP!” To me, the “way to escape” that is referred to in Corinthians is to seek His help and lean on Him. Another method of escape is to seek His will and be obedient to His commandments, which help us to avoid some trials…those we bring on ourselves by our disobedience or by putting ourselves in bad situations. What a gift it is to be motivated to reach out to Him, but how much wiser to turn to Him without waiting for those compelling circumstances.

  20. Pingback: God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle | A BENew Journey

  21. Thank you so much for writing this. I also lost my dad to cancer one week ago. I’ve prayed that God would show me why this had to happen because I believe He has a purpose for all things, and this blog was an answer to my prayer. My dad was a Godly man and an inspiration to so many people and through his journey with cancer he never once complained. The closest he ever got was begging God to take him home, and in a little over 24 hours later He took him peacefully. Thank you so, so much for writing this. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my 23 years on this earth, but now I at least have the “why?” answered.

  22. If God brings you to it, HE will bring you through it!

    Also…

    I have a 100% track record of getting through hard things. It may not have been the most graceful or wonderful thing, but I did make it! Given my track record this far, I can get through this too.

  23. I lost my only brother,mother to cancer, my dad to dementia, my sweet son-in-law, my 8 yr. Old grandson to a very sudden illness and my husband of 34 yr. A hard battle with Parkinson disease. Now my oldest grandson is fighting a brain injury. My prayers are for my daughters . I try not to burdon anyone with the unbearable pain and how lonesome I am. I cry on a daily basis, like you a song, a smell or just a reminder of days past.makes me want to break down but I try and stand strong for my children, and all I have blessed with. God has helped me along the way. And I know I will see all of them again. I am not afraid of dying but pray that when the time comes it will be swift. God Bless each of you.

  24. Thank You.
    I hate that phrase to the very roots of my soul.
    Thank you for letting me know,
    1. I’m not alone
    2. I’m not crazy
    Thank You.

  25. I ABSOLUTELY agree with the false phrase that” god will not give you more than you can bare”. However your proceeding comment is wrong, false and not true also. Take it for what it is. If you believe in the gospel which I’m sure you do than your take on the plan of salvation or your understanding of the probationary period here on earth is misguided! Now this is quite alright seeing how most members believe the original heretofore mentioned statement!

  26. God doesn’t give us trials….. PERIOD! AGENCY, MORTALITY, IMPERFECTION, SIN, DEATH, GOD, BAD MUST BE ALLOWED TO PREVAIL BOTH WAYS WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM GOD OR ELSE THE VERY CONCEPT OF AGENCY WOULD CEASE TO EXIST! although general authorities make mention and really seem to have loss full grasp of this concept, men like James e talmadge and Bruce r mckonkie. Don’t share there views and in the articles of faith it literally explains that God cannot interfere with man’s mortality. He cannot persuade in neither good nor bad which would then corrupt the full concept of why we were sent here! And the concept that God would give us trials is a crazy crazy falsehood that we’ve almost come to believe and embrace! God doesn’t give someone cancer and allows a woman to be raped. He didn’t say here’s a car accident that is caused by a drunk diver killing your whole family and leaving you paralyzed for the rest of your life. God doesn’t send tyrants to Somalia or Uganda and have them pull out innocent families out of there little huts and Start killing the parents in front of the children….. Just for the sake of giving us a different trial! I can go on and on but I think you get the just. Oh and just for the record , I’ve experienced a great amount of horrible mortal tragedies but what kept me from going crazy and making up falsehoods in my head was actually knowing and understanding the plan of salvation! Actually excepting mortality for what it is and not saying god did it!

  27. i ask god to my mother on trial and no answer but god loves me anway i don`t know my fate only god knows . i have my own church the church of the most high just to let you know i am redeemed rightousness in my heart

  28. I’m not active, and I have struggles. But I found your blog and this post is exactly what I needed. I HATE when people say He only gives what you can handle. thank you for putting into words my exact feelings.

  29. Reblogged this on 8ways2 and commented:
    No matter who you are, what you struggle with, or how invincible you feel you may be, sometime during your life God will give you more than you can handle. That’s a guarantee.

  30. Thanks so much, Frank Silva! I am 100% in agreement with you. WE agreed to come here, WE used our agency to make that decision. Everyone can use their agency any way they want. My only daughter was killed by a stupid driver in broad daylight on the way to church. God did not interfere with the driver’s agency. And that is how I deal with the pain. I was only able to have two kids. Mortality happens. I am not trying to compare my pain to anyone else’s, we all have pain. Pain, like mortality, just happens. But God can inspire us, bring comfort to us. But He will not take away the pain because how we act in spite if the pain is the whole point.

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