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.

1,917 thoughts on “God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

  1. So sorry about your grief. I had the images of my mother as she was passing away in my mind for a long time as well. Hang in there, with time your mind lets go of it, and you’re left with the more tender memories.

  2. I have been LDS my whole life and completely agree with you about that phrase. I believe it came from the scripture, 1 Corbin 10:13, “who will not suffer you to be tempted above that year are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that year may be able to bear it.” See also D&C 132:50, 1 Cor 15:57, D&C 95:1. But sin or sickness go together. Jesus was talking about this exact thing. “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of palsy, Thy sins be forgiven ther; or say, Arise, and take up thy bed and walk?” When you begin to understand the submission that is needed to be free and why sin is an important part of earth life, the disdain for truth regardless of what it is or how it comes, will no longer be a part of us.

  3. Thank you for your keen insight and your willingness to share it. So sorry for your pain. I totally understand…I lost my father to bone cancer. As you described your fathers last days I could see myself doing the same things you described. The miracle, for me, is that besides the horrific pain of it all, I can look back now after 8 years, and be grateful that I was able to offer that service to my darling father. That I was able to be there to succor, and to comfort and tend and to love him unconditionally, just as he did me in my times of need. Those are my tender mercies of his last days…I was able to be there to Support him and sustain him and to assist my mom in caring for him. Those are the blessings and where I now find strength as I can see His hand, Our Saviors hand…helping me, guiding me strengthen me to be able to give and to be there as it was needed. And yes! That is who I turned to…I felt on my knees and asked for His help…I can see now, that he gave it to me! I was not alone, He was there with me! He guided me and helped me to see clearly what needed to be done, what needed to be said to the doctors, He gave me the courage to stand up to the medical staff when my father’s needs were not being met and he helped me to become my parent Guardian angel when they needed it the most!
    Thank you so much for the reminder that He is there in our darkest hours, bringing light and to lighten our burdens. hugs.

  4. Pingback: Why God DOES Give Us More Than We Can Handle | Kristen Hamilton

  5. Yes, very beautifully written.
    And beautiful comments to follow.
    I experienced this giving this kind of care for my mother and later my father. No siblings.. I have a deep fear of hospitals, and had to stay night and day and do things nurses didn’t even do to spare my fathers dignity.
    my prayers were constant. A God given friend talked me through things on the phone in the middle of those nights. Not only was Jesus carrying me through, I had an angel friend too.
    I can’t even imagine doing it alone.
    No regrets… And you can bet I’m there for my friends and others I see needing help. when you’ve gone through this stuff you just “get it”. I feel like Heavenly Father lets you go through things. They are things we have to go through ourselves, as did Jesus, Maybe a refining process. and HE knows how much to help us. Be patient and living with yourself. You are Awesome! Thank you for sharing.💕💕💕💕

  6. I disagree. If you look the word “temptation” up in its original Greek form and then look up the word “trial” from James 1:2, you would see that both words are the same. So I Cor. 10:13 actually means both: God won’t give us more temptation or trials than we can handle. HOWEVER… I agree that way too many people use this verse with good intentions but cause a great deal of pain to the individual they are saying it to. I have personally had this said to me when I was going through very difficult times. Although the intention was good, I wasn’t at a place to hear it and it did not sit well with me. It hurt and upset me instead. But as far as this post is concerned, this truth is absolutely biblical, although it may not feel comfortable to hear.

  7. Thankyou for sharing and for being so open and honest. I lost both my parents to cancer last year. My dad then my mom six months later. My husband and I nursed them both. I was strong for everyone had my faith had God. After it all I fell apart and am still finding my way. God is all we have .Ex 33 v 21 God say “There is a place near Me” I spend time in that place everyday,throughout the day. GriefShare has helped too. Godbless

  8. Beautiful! I Now have a terminal illness. I’m suffering so now in ICU. I can’t lay, comfortable. I’m up and down with gasping for breath and my heart rate is sky rocketing. The pain is, well, unsubscribing. And I just read this and I felt so much at ease. I’ve calmed down to a degree and I know your right, he just eased me. Thank you and bless you

    • Brian, I said a prayer for you tonight. I pray that you will have comfort and peace during this hard time and that you’ll know without a doubt how much God loves you. I am honored that in the rest of the time you were given you chose to read my blog. Love and many hugs to you.

  9. well it sometimes seems like way way more than i can handle but i still handle it i mean i dont handle it but what does handling it mean ? As in not commiting suicide ? Death isn’t really an option for me anyway. But i can think kf somethings that i cant handle, my mother dying, a demon appearing to me or something like that. Those 2 things i will never be able to handle. If God is real then he surely gave me one heavy cross i mean way heavier than anyone that ik of i cant exolain now sorry im……😦 when i get my sleep and recover i will.

  10. I can see that you either aren’t LDS or maybe once were and I certainly respect that as I believe everyones journey through life spiritually is there own and God is certainly involved constantly in that process for everyone. Also I don’t write this to correct you, I simply want to share my testimony as you have. And I respect what you wrote, because I have gone through incredible suffering that I believed at the time was certainly more than I could bear. But I have to state my belief, not as a way to contend with you experience or diminish but just what I believe and my hope is that you will feel what my motive is. You said you couldn’t find the quote that you had heard so many times in the scriptures. I found it in the Book of Mormon, I hope it give you more perspective and faith in a God that loves us so much that he doesn’t want us to suffer needlessly.

    Alma 13:28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
    I know that you obviously arrived at the correct conclusion, that the point is to turn to Christ in the end. But your initial premise is false, at least according to this scripture. We have knowledge and the testimony from the Book of Mormon that we don’t have to experience anything more than we can bear. But it’s not a promise without action and faith on our part from the beginning. Does God want us to suffer in the way you did, and I believe you know that to be true. he wants us to choose to be humble instead of compelled to be humble from the beginning. That doesn’t mean he will eliminate the challenge. But the promise is that we will not experience temptation above that which can bear. Maybe you never did experience anything above what you could bear, did you not overcome by the power of God and Christ and the Spirit? I know that the first great truth is that God loves us, more than we have the ability to feel. And I know that He and his angels never left your side. Even when you were at your worst. God lives, use your experience to bless and lift others. And please consider the scripture. It is true, and it testifies to Gods infinite love for us. thank you for consider what I feel and know to be true. And I hope and pray I haven’t been too forward or argumentative.

  11. Thank you. I couldn’t agree more and I appreciate your testimony and sharing it with me. It has come too me in a time of need and understanding. And I’ll leave it at that.

  12. When I lost my husband last January, I told myself, keep your eyes on Jesus, if you don’t you will start to sink like Peter. As Billy Graham said once, God doesn’t call us to a place, where the grace of God can not sustain us.

  13. yes awesome post…thanks for sharing things so personal……I think its really good to go to the scriptures to find out if the phrases we have heard are really what God thinks and are true. I am LDS too and I do this all the time. The other thing I’ve been thinking about is if God really “gives” us things or if its just a sticky but necessary part of this existence (progress). Death really is horrific. God knows that so he sent his Son to overcome it. It really could be the worst thing that ever ever could happen. There is good reason that it is so brutal to witness and so very very painful. We take is so personally, like God made it or didn’t make it happen, but it just might be part of the pain of this life. I really love the walt Disney quote. Keep Moving forward. Jesus makes this possible for us…even through death.

  14. I recently lost my sweet husband of 14 years to cancer. I was there with him through the whole thing and it was horrific and so very difficult for us. I know how bad I hurt and suffered durring his illness and the chemo that he endured just to give us a little more time together. I will never know what it was like to be my husband knowing that he wasn’t going to be here for too much longer and to feel as sick and suffer as he did. I am grateful that I could be there for him and to serve him in every way I could- I know he knew how much I loved him and still do. It was hard but with faith and much prayer my husband was able to endure to the end of his earthly life and win his battle with cancer. He is no longer sick and I know he is ok where he is at. Very likely he is busier on the other side of the veil then he ever was here. Heavenly Father had something He needed my husband for- so although it is a great loss to my children and I we know he is where he is needed. A friend of mine said something to me while all of this was going on that I thought was quite profound and has helped me frame what we went through in a whole different way. She told me in the midst of a very difficult trial her family went through that her Mom said that for some reason it was necessary for her salvation and for the salvation of each of her family members for her to go through that trial. Yes we are given more then we can handle- the point for me is that we will have help if we ask and have faith. We don’t have to carry our burdens alone…we have help from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Losing my husband continues to be more difficult then I can imagine…it will be a hard thing for the rest of my life I am guessing. But I must continue on and be willing to be submissive to the will of our Heavenly Father and have faith and I know I will be ok. I can do hard things…this has now been shown to me…my testimony has grown in so many ways and I am grateful for all that I have learned and the blessings I have been given. I sure wish I could have learned these things a different way and that my husband could still be here with us because he is dearly missed every single day but we will get through this and it will be ok.

  15. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my mother in January 2013 to liver failure 3 weeks after she was diagnosed. My sister, father and I attended to her with Aimee help with hospice and it was completely gut wrenching. I still get very emotional thinking of what we went through and feeling robbed of many lifetime moments yet to have. She was only 65. I’m thankful to know that she no longer has to feel any more pain and I know she is in Heaven. It’s hard to let go and hard to trust but little by little you will make it to the next day easier and easier by leaning on Him!

  16. You have said it very well. Life is more than we can handle sometimes, but never more than God can. That is when we have to lean on Him. I just read a book “Half Truths”. People have misquoted scripture with good intentions.

  17. Thank you for this blog post. Like you, I have thought about this quote so many times and struggled to understand it. Thank you for your insight. I have seen people have a complete breakdown with the trials they are experiencing, or suffer consequences of abuse I cannot imagine, including a seeming inability to see themselves as being of worth and consequently repeatedly making unwise decisions. I have seen people live with the fallout from suicide when someone felt there was no other way. And I continue to wonder how anyone can say God will not give you more than you can handle, when it clearly isn’t true. And I continue to wonder whether I lack faith, or divine insight, or whether we misunderstand that scripture (as we have misunderstood scriptures in the past). In the mean time I continue to go to church, pray, love God, try to deal with my trials and hope it all becomes clear at some point.

  18. I came to this same conclusion last year. Under very similar circumstances. I also lost my father to cancer. 2 months after formal diagnosis he was gone. We were very close and the pain of his loss was unbearable. Still is some days. I cried out to God that it was more than I could bear. And like you, it hit me that in those moments we must turn to Him. HE can bear it. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

  19. I am so glad the see someone else talk about this! #1 It is not in scripture. #2 God does not give us trials but He is there to help us navigate them. #3If we could handle everything we wouldn’t need God would we. Thankfully we have God when we do have difficulties and hard times!

  20. This am my Sunday School teacher may this comment no where in the bible it state that God does this, put on more than we can bear. It our test of faith, how much we trust him, and love him, to lead us into our journey of our life. Never under stand it but he there with his hand out never leaving our side.
    When my cousin past away, his dad said why didn’t God want me, intead of him. I said uncle Kelly he didnt want you, he wanted klint, but a purpose for you, through Klint. He loves all of you, just give him time.never understood it either until. Kelby proud of you going forward following the Lord. Uncle Kelly and Aunt Sherry accepted Christ. Making an example of tragic can bring out the good.

  21. This is interpreted completely wrong. It is not God that gives us trials and temptations for God does not have dominion over the world, Satan does! We have free choice; however, God will not allow us to be tempted more than we can stand. By calling on his name and inviting him into our life, we give him permission to intervene on our behalf.

  22. I hate that phrase and this one too: If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. I hate those phrases . I lost my husband 2 years ago from cancer and pulmonary fibrosis and it was really rough for him and tough for me seeing him in so much pain. Thank you for the scripture. This hit my husband fast, hard and furious. We only knew 2 weeks that he had cancer. He was still employed. He was really sick 1 1/2 months and then he was gone.
    We had 31 wobderful years. I loved him so much. I know I’ll see him again some day.
    Thanks again,
    Sharon Fowns

    • I have also heard unkind people say ” God must or may have needed him on the other side to do a great work” so he allowed it. Excuse me , but there is no greater work than taking care of your living earth family of tiny children and the mother of your children which is top priority. This only adds insult to injury and there are other ways to attempt to console someone. This statement only triggers rage in grieving family members. Besides that, who thinks they are in a position of knowledge and revelation to convey this information to another if they are not 100 percent sure that is true?The word “Maybe” offers no authentic comfort.

  23. The actual scripture is I Corinthians 10:13 and is often misquoted. It says that “He will not let us be TEMPTED more than we can bear.”

  24. I understand that you went through a painful trial and I only wish you the deepest comfort for that pain. And you are right: God desires us, invites us even, to turn to him in prayer and to have faith. (Php 4:6, Heb 11:6) But this post dangerously slanders the God I love and worship, and I will defend him. (1 Pe 3:15).

    1 Co 10:13 says “No temptation has come upon you *except what is common to men*. But God is *faithful*, and he *will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear*, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” The scripture clearly says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, and to say otherwise is to claim that God’s word is a lie. But, God’s word is truth, from “In the beginning” to “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus”. (John 17:17)

    James 1:13,14 assures us: ” When under trial, let no one say ‘I am being tried by God’. For with evil things God cannot be tried, *nor does he himself try anyone*”. God is love, so how can he ever act in an unloving way? Of course, you may have heard that God works in mysterious ways, but that isn’t true, either. The scriptures clearly show that God desires all to repent and that coming to know him is a step to everlasting life. (2 Pe 3:9, John 17:3). How can we be moved to repent and get to know God if he is mysterious? God loves us and is actually not far off from us and we can find him (Acts 17:27).

    With a child that you love, you could expect them to experience trials. Any loving parent wants their child to live a life free from suffering, but in this world, that’s just not possible. Please, imagine your beloved child is experiencing a tough time with people spreading gossip about them. You may decide your child needs your loving guidance and support to get through the tough time even though you aren’t going to call up each gossiping classmate’s parents to report the torment their child is causing yours or even though you aren’t going to transfer your child to a new school or though you aren’t going to send your child into the world in a bubble. It’s not a lack of love for your child. Gossips will come and go. But, there is a big difference between there being some classmates gossiping about your child and you being the one who started all the gossip. “Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those asking him!” (Matt 7:11). So, I must respectfully disagree that God himself would burden us with more than we can handle.

  25. Pingback: Sometimes I Feel Hopeful, Sometimes I Feel Like a Potato – Prickly Love

  26. I believe the “why does God trust me so much” came from his faithful servant, Job. Satan had to ask permission to tempt Job and cause such destruction in his life- and God allowed it, but would not allow him to kill Job. Even Job’s wife said, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?” But faithful Job, even after losing everything- told her she spoke as a foolish woman. Lord help us to withstand all the painful trials that come against us and let them bring us closer to your heart. 🙏🏻 “I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands!” “The God of the mountain is still God in the valley!” Hallelujah! Prayers of comfort for all going through earthly heartaches. May we keep an eternal perspective, and know that God works ALL things together for the good of them that love Him.

  27. What a thoughtful and well-written post!
    I’m so sorry for all that you have been through, but I love your conclusion and the hope that you offer: “And he’s the only one who can make it bearable when life is simply anything but.”
    Somewhere shared your post and your site with me.
    Blessings to you,
    Melanie

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