A dear friend poured her broken heart out into her blog not long ago. In March she had lost her 19 month old son. The first comment made on that post stated "...God will not give you more than you can handle..."
I shivered as I read that comment. Then I looked out across the street into a home where people were walking in and out of getting their share of whatever drug is available and I was not even in the bad part of town. Men and women who only had a skeleton of a body, no teeth left, their hair, if they had any, was a greased up mess. Their ragged shirts literally hung off their shoulders and their dingy jeans, with a waist to skinny to hold them up, hung from what's left of their hips. My heart breaks for these people. I could literally feel the heaviness of their darkness. Life is more than they can handle...much more. Day after day girls and boys, men and women, take their own lives. The despair and darkness of this life is too much to handle. A lonely bitter man locks himself in his room and stares at a computer for hours high as a kite. He sleeps for days, he moans and groans from the pains that come as the drugs wear off. He can only make himself escape his bedroom to get more meth. This life is more than he can handle. A bereaved mother quickly escapes a family dinner to wail in the nearest bathroom stall. With her face in her hands she cries, there is a high chair missing, it's mine, it's my daughters high chair. It's not fair, why God...WHY!! This life is too much for her to handle. A wife loses her husband while pregnant with their second child. Another family faces losing their child daily, they pray that a machine that supports his life never malfunctions, if it does, even for just a short five minutes, their child could die. Mothers, day in and day out, pour their heart and soul into a child that will never say I Love You, a child that with the slightest shift in familiarity would make an ordinary temper tantrum look like a calm day at the beach. God doesn't give us more than we can handle? I could go on and on life after life. I can almost guarantee that someone with in arms reach of you, if it isn't you yourself, has suffering that is just too much to bear alone.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.
"He will also provide (to make available) so that you can stand up under it." I think this verse is where many of us have coined the phrase "God doesn't give us more than we can handle". It is noteworthy to state that Paul writes that the Lord will provide...not give a way out. We have free will we can choose our way out or we can choose God's way out. For many years I turned my back from the way out that the Lord provided. I was consistently on the verge of self destruction. Let my honesty speak to your heart. I could have easily been one of those women stumbling into the house across street. I could easily be fifty pounds less, begging for my next hit of meth. I was literally a micro second away from that life. Every ounce of the life I lived was too much for me to take on. I begged for an escape.
Some wandered into the desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
No one has moral high ground to stand on because everyone was as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) when God heard your cry and His mercy pulled you out.
In all this life has given, the good and the bad, and in all this life has taken away when I cry out my Abba continues to pull me out. . He has never said I told you so, time after time, he makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters (Psalm 23). This life for me is so very much more than I could ever take on alone. I have tried and failed. Today, I choose to let the Lord satisfy my hunger with His good things! Praise God for his sovereign gentle hand over my life again and again and again. Thank you Father that I do not have to handle what this life is. I have You to walk with, to talk with. In the midst of tragedy and sorrow I have Your unfailing love moment after moment.
God said it best when he responded to Habakkuk's complaint
Habakkuk' Complaint 1:2-4
How long, O Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted
The Lord responded
Look at the nations and watch-and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you told.
I believe with all my heart that God is doing something in my day that even if He told me I would not believe. I believe because of who God is, our Abba, our King, He is our Faithful and True!