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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

2,041 thoughts on “God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

  1. I thank you for your words of comfort and making me feel like I’m not going crazy. I am preparing muy lesson for church tomorrow I put it off knowing it’s a lesson I am struggling with as tomorrow marks the 1 treat anniversary of my brother and his wife dying in a tragic plane accident, leaving parents, 7 siblings and 3 children behind. This past treat I’ve been hit with a lot more than I can handle and kept thinking I was failing! Gaming the test of what I needed to learn, failing the test of patients. I was hoping to become stronger but through choices and actions feel just as lost today as I did a year ago. Struggling as much as ever. Your story and words really helped and touched me! Thank you so much!!

  2. So beautiful. I am usually not at a loss for words, but I cannot imagine any that could capture the emotion it stirred in me. I lost my Mom to cancer, my sister to cancer, my Dad to cancer, and my daughter to cancer.
    I love what David says in the Psalms, “and yet will I praise you”.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I often said the exact same phrase to others going through tough times. God will never give you more than you can handlke, until my husband passed away. Then I knew God did give me more than I could handle. Then i realized I couldn’t “handle” it but I could “hand it” over to God. Thank you again.


  5. amen and amen. that verse is probably the great verse in all scripture. He is our rock and redeemer and shepherd who will never leave us or forsake us. Our daughter who passed away from an overdoes a year and a half ago struggled for 8 years in her mind and lifestyle, she finally found peace in her Savior and He carried us through the deep waters of grief and sorry to His loving arms and His burden of love.

  6. Thank you for these words I’ve read hundreds of times over! I too lost my Daddy to cancer, I felt like I couldn’t breathe for the longest time. I still get this way at times. Being a Minister doesn’t exempt us from the pain of loss. I didn’t know the depth of such pain until I did his eulogy. I stood at his casket in front of the podium lost in my own thoughts and knowing this would be my final earthly goodbye. I gently bent down and kissed him and the tears glided down my cheeks onto his suit jacket. I couldn’t wipe them away, nor did I want to. For the oddest reason I later thought; I sent a piece of myself with him in those fallen tears. This journey without our loved ones is not easy. The pain is always hiding somewhere we least expect it. But in truth, that passage is an anchor for those of us that truly believe that God does take our pain upon Himself. He does lighten our yoke, he doesn’t take away our voidance. We do need to let God carry us when we can’t carry ourselves. This world is temporary, for that I’m thankful. I can wait awhile to join my Daddy because I still have so much more to do. Thanks again for this reminder!

  7. AMEN!!! That is SO VERY TRUE!!! I wish that I could remember these words the next time I hear that phrase, or am about to say that phrase. Thank you.

  8. This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for so eloquently sharing such deep, raw and real feelings.

  9. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (CEB) No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. But God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I needed it today. I was looking for that picture of Jesus carrying the man when I stumbled across this post. Life has been really hard, like “grow up right now or never” hard. And while my struggles aren’t quite terminal in nature, sometimes I am just filled with exhaustion and rage that I don’t know how to let go of. I needed to see this today. Thank you for being so vulnerable, open, and honest.

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s