I’ve heard that comment plenty. And there was a time when I believed it. Then I buried two husbands and my mama in four short years. God definitely allowed more than I could handle!
Can you relate?
Haven’t you had seasons when the kids were little and you got no sleep and thought you were losing your mind? Or when someone you loved was addicted or abusive, and you feared for your sanity or safety? Or when you experienced a time of lack, sickness, or upheaval that you thought would crush you?
Of course you have. And that’s when God does his best work. It is in the times of upheaval that we run to him for the healing, rescue, answers, resolution, or miracle we desperately need . . . but which is way so very far beyond our own control or ability to resolve.
If we could manage everything in our lives, why in the world would we need God?
In 1 Corinthians 10:13 (nrsv), the apostle Paul tells us, “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
“God is faithful and will not let you be tested beyond your strength” sounds a lot like God won’t give you more than you can handle. But we have to understand the context of the passage. Paul is not addressing tragic circumstances like death, disease, and imminent peril. He’s telling his readers that it’s possible to rule over the temptation of our former sinful and destructive practices.
Don’t go it alone.
We must not be deceived by those who would ask us to endure our hardships on our own—or all alone.
Before I had my come-to-Jesus moment, I tried to manage life on my own and failed miserably. I let my circumstances dictate my emotional state. If “things” weren’t going well, I wasn’t well. I had meltdowns and threw temper tantrums rivaling Rumpelstiltskin. That’s no way to manage anything!
Or I’d disengage and sink into a puddle of discouragement, believing that all was lost so I might as well eat, drink, and be merry on my way to die.
We just can’t fall for the lie that God won’t give us more than we can handle. While no one would desire the loss, sickness, or hardships that drive us to beg God for help, those are the seasons we can experience the greatest intimacy with God. It’s in the times of desperately crying out to him that we tend to be most in-tune with his voice and open to his leading.
When you are out of your mind, or over your head, or under attack, don’t try to manage it on your own. Call on God, who is for you and will be with you through it all. He will give you the strength you need to press on. Provide the support you need to persevere. Lead you to the solutions you need to survive.
When life reels out of control, don’t try to brave it alone. Run to God.
Verse for today: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. —Psalm 46:1–3
Prayer: Father God, be my strength and shield and my ever-present help in times of trouble. When life and circumstances are out of my control, be my guide through them or around them. Be with me. In Jesus’ name, amen.