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Lifelines.
This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery

Follow me as I follow Jesus

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“It’s all too much,” I cried into my coffee. “I can’t do it. I’m not enough.”

Sitting in that quiet coffee shop, reality hit with force.

Every day is filled with one reminder after another that I am not sufficient. I am not enough for my small group girls; I am not enough for my best friend; I am not enough for my parents; I am not enough for counseling others; I am not enough to teach the Word of God; I am not enough for the church; I am not enough to write helpfully; I am not enough to consider marriage or parenting or anything else God calls me to.

I am not enough.

Do you feel it too?

Do you feel strained by the seemingly endless litany of tasks before you, the weight of burdens in community and ministry, and the demand to do and be it all without cracking under pressure?

During those times I’ve heard well-meaning people say, “Yeah, what you’re going through is hard, but God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

The problem with that and Mother Teresa’s famous quote—“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much”—is that it’s not Scriptural.

And anything meant to be a comfort becomes a confine when it isn’t based on Scripture.

What if Scripture actually says God intentionally gives us more than we can handle?

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Listen to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9a:

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.” (emphasis mine)

Does that sound like God gave Paul something he could handle? No—he was so utterly burdened beyond his strength that he despaired of life itself. Everything was so weighty and burdensome it felt like death.

We can relate, can’t we?

The entire Bible proves this point. Scripture is filled with situation after situation of people unable to handle what God, in His mercy, allowed them to experience.

  • Noah built an ark for a catastrophic flood, though they had never seen rain.
  • Abraham heard God’s call into the unknown.
  • Laban cheated Jacob.
  • Joseph’s brothers sold him, and he was imprisoned.
  • Hannah trusted God through her barrenness.
  • Joshua took command of the children of Israel.
  • David ran from Saul and, later, his own son.
  • Nehemiah led the rebuilding of the temple.
  • God commanded the prophets to speak to people who would never listen.
  • God commanded Ezekiel not to cry after his wife died.
  • A virgin birthed the Messiah.
  • A Nazarene carpenter called fishermen and tax collectors to leave everything familiar to follow Him.
  • The lame, Jesus commanded to walk, though their legs had never worked.
  • God gave Paul a thorn in the flesh (and shipwrecks, floggings, abuse, imprisonment, and persecution).

That’s barely scratching the surface of Scripture’s record of how God’s servants were ill-equipped to carry the load He gave them.

But let’s zoom in on Jesus and His disciples for a moment. He was constantly placing them in situations with tasks and commands they couldn’t manage to expose their weakness and cause them to run back to Him for clarity and help.

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Has Jesus changed His mode of operation?

No, He continues to work the same way in us, bringing to light our weaknesses so His sufficiency shines like the satisfying treasure it is.

When we’re crying into our coffee and feeling burdened beyond our strength, we recognize we need a Savior, from sin and from all the human weaknesses that accompany it. That’s when we feel what’s true all the time: We are helpless on our own. We need a strength beyond our own to rescue us. If we were enough, there would be no reason for Jesus.

That’s what I need to hear when life feels so heavy I’m convinced I will break apart at the seams. I don’t need someone offering a warm platitude to help my strength grow. I need someone reminding me this debilitating weakness is intentionally purposed to lead my weak soul to the One who raised the dead.

The empty grave of Jesus proves His sufficiency to bear our burdens and carry our sorrows. We must take our hearts there, gluing our eyes to the Gospel and baking our minds in the truth of our sin-defeating Hero who alone is equipped to handle all He gives us. We command our eyes to behold the resurrected King, knowing that, while our circumstances may never be resurrected, He is working to resurrect us through them.

His scars prove He can handle anything—He endured the suffering of the cross for our sin. His wounds whisper safety for us—for with His wounds we are healed. His death gives life. His victory brings deliverance.

He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again. -2 Corinthians 1:10

So, in the face of overwhelming inadequacy, we set our hope on the One who gives us more than we can handle. We look to the One who handled it all, who has declared in His all-sufficient strength, “It is finished.”

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Originally posted on Unlocking the Bible.

4 comments on “God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

  1. Bruce Sims says:

    Reblogged this on Call 2 Witness.

  2. Pete says:

    Excellent. God does NOT say he will not give us more than we can handle. The Word says He will not suffer us (or allow us) to be tempted above what we are able, and will with the temptation also make a way of escape” James says God does not test us or tempt us with evil. The enemy does the tempting and gives the trials. God allows certain ones into our lives and, as we trust in Him, He provides a way of escape. Boy, am I glad of that!

    You wrote of this so beautifully. I look forward to reading more of your insights, thanks to Bruce Sims!

    Be blessed!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Pete! I appreciate your words.

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