There is a misconception out there that God won’t give us more than we can handle. It’s got to be one of the most commonly quoted, no, misquoted Bible verses. I believe people are using 1 Corinthians 10:13 as the reference when Paul says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can handle. This is truth you can depend on.
But to tell someone that God won’t give them more than they can handle in general is just hurtful.
Life is more than I can handle some days.
How do you tell someone struggling to raise and love a defiant child that God won’t give her more than she can handle? How do you tell someone who just got a cancer diagnosis that God won’t give him more than he can handle? How do you tell a single mother struggling to keep her kids fed that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle? How do you tell a refugee family trying to survive with no safe place to lay their heads that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle?
You don’t. Or at least you shouldn’t.
The truth is that God allows us to be stretched beyond our limits all the time.
It’s a loving thing to do. God has created us to live in community with one another and wants to teach us to depend on others. He wants to teach us that we’re not God. We can’t do it all and He doesn’t want us to have to. He wants us to rest in Him and let him carry our burdens.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7
Let’s stop trying to do it all on our own and handle the hard parts of life by ourselves. Let’s quit telling people that they should be able to handle their burdens alone and that the hard things they are experiencing won’t break them. We are broken and so flawed but God wants to hold us together.
Maybe instead of telling people, “God won’t give you more than you can handle” we should tell them, “I can’t imagine the burden you are carrying. Let me share the load. How can I help?” Maybe we should remind people that the Holy Spirit offers comfort, guidance, and peace that goes beyond all understanding and when our hands can’t help bear the load, our prayers will.