Rethinking How God Has Given Me More Than I Can Handle

May 28, 2014

I always bristled at the phrase “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

Because, you know, it’s a fake Bible verse.

It’s not in the Bible. But people repeat it like it is in the Bible.

And it’s kind of ludicrous. You mean God will never give me more tragedy than I can handle? God will never let my heart be broken more times than I can handle? So God took everything away from Job because He knew Job could handle it?

It tends to make people ignore all the times in the Bible where God does give people more than they can handle, if only so people will learn to stop being self-sufficient and rely on Him.

But then I started thinking…

What if it was true?

What if we were just thinking about it all wrong and God actually does give us way more than we can handle, all the time?

When we talk about God giving us more than we can handle, why is it always tragedy that we talk about?

When I think about it, there is much more than tragedy that God has given me.

God has given me way more money than I can handle. I know this because I haven’t always handled my money very well. I have not been a great steward of what God has given me.

God has also given us more food than we can handle. I know this is true, because we gorge ourselves on some of our food and then throw a lot of it away needlessly.

In general, God has given us more stuff than we can handle. I know this because my house is full of it.

But that stuff isn’t really all that important in the long run anyway. But God hasn’t stopped with lavishing stuff on us.

God has also given us more time than we can handle. I know this because even though we complain of always being busy, we just as easily fritter away our evenings in front of the television.

God has given us more beauty than we can handle. I know this because we easily ignore it.

God has given us more joy than we can handle, proven by how easily we forget it.

God has given us more laughter than we can handle, because we so often stifle it.

God has given us more freedom than we can handle, and I know that by how well we abuse it.

God has given us more love than we can handle, so much love that we take it for granted.

God has given us more of himself than we can handle. So much of himself that we can never understand it.

And God has given us more grace than we can handle.

So much unlimited, unbounding, undeserved, even unnoticed grace that we can never begin to comprehend it.

I don’t know, maybe we’re just thinking about this whole thing all wrong.

It seems God does give us more than we can handle.

What do you think? Has God given you more than you can handle today?

5 responses to Rethinking How God Has Given Me More Than I Can Handle

  1. I appreciate this post, especially the list of beautiful things God has given us more than we deserve or know what to do with. Love and grace and beautiful things.

    I think that the title statement is based on 1 Corin 10:13
    “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.”

    It states that he won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, but that when we are, he always provides a way out. Jesus is our way out of any seemingly overbearing temptation. We just have to do it on His terms, borrowing grace and strength from the Lord, and not by our own will.

    He is good.

  2. I really appreciate the perspective.

    I, too, bristle at the first platitude, for the very reason you mentioned – it seems God gives me more than I can handle so that I will not rely on myself. I had not considered, however, the good things in overflow.

  3. We do have a lot to think about.

    But nothing to worry about.
    theoldadam recently posted..Chapter 6 and 7 of Steven Paulson’s Book

  4. I cringe when people say that too. He is ALWAYS giving us more than we can handle on our own. And the key phrase there is “on our own” We need his strength, his love, his peace, his wisdom… and the list goes on and on. Our need reminds us and teaches us dependence

  5. What it *does* say in 1 Cor 10:13 is “…God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

    And if we consider Job, who endured much… the “limit” might be thought of as a temptation to curse God because of the suffering.

    I have experienced extreme pain and suffering. Sadly, God seems to think I can handle a whole lot more than I wish… yet when it got to be TOO much, He literally removed the pain. I am no longer afraid of ultra-extreme pain.