More than I can Handle

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”

Have you had someone say that to you, too? I have had people dear to me say this during times I needed to hear it. And I have wanted to take comfort in that statement on numerous occasions.

TRUTH? I don’t believe it. We’re not made to be self-sufficient. I’ve searched the Bible trying to find where it says He won’t give us more than we can bear. When I delivered my second son stillborn, I read the entire Bible through hoping to find those words in some way, shape, or form. I didn’t. Have you? Am I missing it?

The closest thing I could find was in I Corinthians 10:13 which reads:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (NIV)

Oh thank You, God, for having the confidence in me to be able to handle my greatest temptations. I am humbled by this and know to turn to You when I need a way out.

When looking at the context surrounding this verse, it’s easy to see Paul is not talking about more than we can handle in terms of pain, suffering, or tragedy. He’s merely talking temptations.

But I’m not talking about temptations. I’m talking about pain, suffering, tragedy and the events that cause them. Immense pain comes in many forms, all of which are intolerable to most. To me. And the truth of the matter is, I’ve been through more than I could handle. I’ve been beyond my breaking point. And it’s only by the grace of God and what He can handle that I’m here sharing with you today.

You see, my God is a good God. Life? Not always. But He gives us hope! If you keep reading beyond this verse, you’ll soon stumble upon II Corinthians 1:8-9 (where Paul talks about going through a situation he couldn’t handle):

“8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 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.” (NIV-emphasis mine)

And that, my friends, is how you get through more than you can handle.

When life gives you more than you can stand, KNEEL.

I might not be able to handle this tragedy, but my God can. He’s in the miracle business. And He’s here for me no matter what. He’ll carry me through and never let go. That’s my God. Oh, I pray He’s yours, too. For if it’s ever necessary, I want to be able to say to you,

“This is more than you can be expected to handle, friend. Can I pray with you? I fully believe He will see you through.

He’s all we’ve got. And that’s more than enough…”

How about you? I’d love to hear how He’s carried you through more than you can handle. To God be the glory.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

UPDATED: To continue reading my thoughts about if God gives us more than we can handle, click HERE.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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17 thoughts on “More than I can Handle

  1. It wasn’t until a few years ago I heard a sermon about this – the pastor agreed. We WILL be allowed more than we can handle so we realize our need to depend on God. He allows us to go through “desert” experiences because He knows our hearts will be sensitive enough to hear what He has to say.

    My heart has never been more sensitive than the year and a half it took for us to start our family. God told me to rest in Him – to know that He is the Author of Life – and that He wanted me to surrender to Him the very thing I wanted most (to be a mom). Never would’ve learned this had I not gone through it.

    Thanking God along with you that He is good and more than capable of carrying us through anything this world brings us. True hope.

    • Oh, Karyn. Resting in God and surrendering our desires are valuable (and painful) lessons to learn. I’m convinced you’re a better parent because of it. Thank you, God, for caring enough for Karyn to show her some tough love so that she could thrive in her current role: mother.
      I treasure your comment. Thanks for taking the time to read my current ponderings. . .

  2. I always thought that was an awkward comment,now I know why. People just don’t know what to say so they think they HAVE to say something and they have heard others say that so they think that’s the thing to say. No wonder the person hearing it wants to tell them to shut up? Those are beautiful thoughts, Nik, but then that’s why you are writing this, to share them. Thanks, Cathy

    • You got that right, Cathy! It’s difficult to know what to say to someone who’s going through such a time of turmoil. I’m thinking honesty is the best policy. What we say won’t make a bit of difference in their suffering, but turning to the One who can makes all the difference in the world.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Nikki I’m so sorry about your son, that must have been really hard to go through. I do think, and commentators appear to agree, that 1 Cor 10:13 is referring to trials as well as temptations. The Greek word means trial, testing and temptation. Matthew Henry says about that verse, ‘He will, in his wise providence, either proportion our temptations to our strength or make us able to grapple with them. He will take care that we be not overcome, if we rely upon him, and resolve to approve ourselves faithful to him.’ So as you pointed out from the passage further on, relying on Him is the important bit – as it is Him that is able to strengthen us to handle what we would not have been able to without Him. I love that verse about relying on Him who raises the dead – He is so powerful yet stoops to help us. Thank you for your thoughts and I pray you will be comforted.

    • Oh, thank you so much for your kind words, Rhoda. Yes, I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone but have given it completely to God, on every level possible. I have found a peace that’s beyond my understanding as a result and am stronger and more importantly closer to Christ because of it.
      I am certainly no theologian and do not know Greek. I did look up the word used in I Cor 10:13 prior to writing and understood it to be ‘peirasmos’ which was defined to me as ‘a trial or test that affords the opportunity to fail’. It’s the same word that’s used in Matt 26:41 ~ “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
      Because trial is used in the original definition, I can see how there can be multiple opinions on whether pain, suffering, or tragedies are included. It’s the ‘opportunity to fail’ that makes me feel it’s not that specific. But, who am I…I could very well be wrong.
      I appreciate you taking the time to share Matthew Henry’s take on it and will read more about it. Thank you!

  4. Nikki, this post brought tears to my eyes and brought back a lot of emotions that I am so thankful I no longer have to bear on a day to day basis. Thanks for your words….very insightful. Farrah

    • Farrah, thank you for taking the time to comment. You know firsthand how faithful God is. What a blessing! I’m so thankful you’re able to look back now and see how far you’ve come. To God be the glory…

  5. Nikki, I’m heartbroken and so sorry to hear of what happened with your baby. But I’m encouraged by your faith and strength. This post was beautiful and filled with God’s truth. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that saying, which my mother has said to me most of my life, had a verse in the Bible (the one you mention) that sort of backs it up. For me, I believe the things I’ve had to endure have passed through God’s hands before they ever landed in my lap. I think He allowed them for reasons only He knows for sure, but I think it was to test my faith, to draw me in closer to Him, to stretch and grow my spiritual muscles, etc… and it has worked. I’m a different, better person now than I ever was before. My blog is a result of all I’ve had to endure so far, with bits and pieces of my story sprinkled throughout. Thank you for visiting and commenting the other day. You also have a wonderful blog and I know I’ll be visiting you here often.

    Blessings,
    Rosann

    • Rosann, thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate your comment. I agree–our faiths are tested. And am so thankful God thinks we’re worth the effort. I’m so glad you know how to handle those tests, too, by drawing closer to the One who is more than capable to handle it.
      We get to choose how we handle those situations and when I get them right, when I lean on my Father, like you I become strengthened. And yes–we come greater because of them.
      And I give thanks…To God be the glory!
      I enjoy your blog and will be visiting often as well…see you soon 🙂
      many blessings,
      ~nikki

  6. Thank you so much for sharing. I had never thought about this, but I completely agree with your insight.

    You were certainly given more than any parent could bare. But, I also think through losing Elijah you and Joe were tested with trials and temptations. Job’s faithfulness to God was certainly tested through enduring great loss. People of less faith than you and Joe would have turned their backs to God, but you realized that God’s goodness does not depend on our current circumstances, nor is there any real comfort in knowing “why”. You could have let seeds of bitterness grow inside you, but even during your period of loss and mourning, you emailed me tips every week to help me through my pregnancy, showered me with gifts and love. I do not know many…if any…persons with your strength, selflessness, and compassion.

    I came across these versus in my devotions this week and thought of you and Joe:

    “I the LORD do not change….[speaking of tithes and offerings],Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:6a, 3:10)

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4)

    “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” (Psalms 145:19)

    I realize the Malachi verse might be out of context, but I think it provides insight into whom the LORD is…that you can never out-give God…or that he will never take something from you without blessing you 10-fold. No pain is too big for God to comfort (How many times have we all prayed this to be immediate comfort to you both?). That no desire is too small or big for God to fulfill. In seeing how Job was blessed after being faithful through his mourning, I am so confident that God is going to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing” for you and Joe.

    I long to hold Elijah. Asking to hold Elijah might be the first thing I do when I get to heaven. We have a lot of lost time to make up for.

    • Thank you for your comment, sister. It blessed me greatly. Just as you always manage to do!
      Yes, God is good all the time. No circumstance negates that fact. Job knew it, and I strive to not only know it but live it.
      Thank you for taking the time to share those verses with me. And for making me cry tears of joy. To God be the glory!

    • Oh, T, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. That means a lot to me.
      You have a beautiful blog — I love the concept. I look forward to visiting again soon.
      Thanks again and many blessings to you and your family!
      To God be the glory
      ~Nikki

  7. this is a beautiful and hard truth friend… i am conflicted though, for i remember the verse that says Jesus will not break a bruised reed, or snuff out a smoldering wick… i took such comfort in those verses after my own miscarriage, and then an adoption failure… but i hear what you are saying too. love to you. e.

    • Thank you, Emily, for stopping by and taking the time to comment. There are many comforts in the Word as we go through pain and suffering, aren’t there. I am so thankful you found yours as clearly you have gone through some times of turmoil. What a blessing you are as you have grown as a result.
      I believe you’re referencing a verse in Isaiah and know I have also taken comfort in the grace of God it promises. I’ve always thought the verse was talking about when you feel you’ve sinned beyond what is forgivable, God will not crush you, but show you how justice and grace look. Perhaps I’m confining the promise of the verse too much. That’s entirely possible.
      Thank you, for giving me something to think about, friend. And by encouraging me with your words. To God be the glory.

  8. Pingback: More Than I Can Handle II « simplystriving

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