Giving Us More Than We Can Handle

You know that saying, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”? Well, I don’t like that saying because I don’t think it’s true.

God does give us more than we can handle. I think that’s His whole point. He wants to give us more than we can handle because it is in our weakness that His strength is perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And how often do we miss out on the blessing of experiencing God’s strength because we refuse situations that are beyond our own strength?

Let me give you an example. Sunday evening, my seven and eight year old daughters were in a Christmas program at church. They both had quite a bit of lines to memorize. My seven year old memorizes easily; it just comes naturally to her. My eight year old has great difficulty memorizing anything. When I told them they had been chosen for the two parts with the greatest amount of memorization, my eight year old (Lauren) was upset with me for agreeing without consulting her first. I encouraged her to pray and ask God to help her memorize the lines and then to work diligently to commit those lines to memory. Then I told her that when she did a good job in the play and people told her how well she did, she would know that it was because God enabled her.

And so we set to work. We went over the lines during our school day and while making dinner, and the girls practiced in bed at night. Lauren was diligent in practicing. And God blessed her. She said her lines beautifully Sunday night, and she sounded so natural! It wasn’t like she was painfully reciting memorized lines; she was speaking the lines as if they were her own. Oh, I was so pleased. Of course, I was a proud momma as I watched my two girls on stage sharing the message of why Christ came to earth. But I was also so incredibly pleased with God’s strength in the face of my Lauren’s weakness.

I’m so thankful my girls have experienced this lesson so early in life. I am glad the play director gave Lauren this opportunity to be stretched beyond her own strengths so she could watch our awesome God at work.

You know, just today I was speaking with a friend and the conversation came around to feeling overwhelmed with my six children. “Don’t you ever feel like you just can’t handle the six children you have?” was her question. Well, yes, let me shout it out to all of you — of course, I feel like I can’t handle six children! I felt like that about three babies ago. But I think that’s a big part of the reason God has given me these six children. You see, I like to feel capable and in-control. And, quite honestly, I felt like I had it all together when I had two children. Even when I had three in three years, I most often felt like I could handle things. I didn’t live in the power of the Holy Spirit; I lived in the power of ME.

Now, it’s pretty obvious to me most every moment of every day that I can’t handle things around here with six small children. It hit me after baby number five that I couldn’t even handle peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch without the help of God. I need God. I need Him every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Because I have six children, it’s that much more obvious to me. I’m so glad the Holy Spirit nudged us to be willing to be in this situation that is so beyond our own power and control. I would have missed out on so many blessings if we hadn’t been obedient to His leading, not the least of which is experiencing His strength made perfect in our weakness.

So, will God give you more than you can handle? I believe He will. But He will not give you more than He can handle. Won’t you be brave enough to step beyond your own strength so you can experience His dynamite power?

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5 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Family, holidays, motherhood

5 responses to “Giving Us More Than We Can Handle

  1. Pingback: Sufficient « Opportunity Knocks

  2. ahhhhh another one of those complexities =)

    I think many times it really isn’t so much about being more than we can bear but more about what we believe we are able to bear or not bear…which would make the saying true…that God really doesn’t give us more than we can bear…I think God is infinetly more aware of our capabilites because He is after all our manufacturer…however regardless of the size of our challenges ect. true Christian success depends on our ability to recognize that it is not by our might nor by our power or abilities but by God’s Spirit, and that indeed in our weakness He/God is strong…

  3. Ahhh, YESYESYESYES (it is well with my soul)

    I have found that the more I start my day with open hands – “holding” the things that are staring me in the face – and say “Lord, You KNOW I can’t do all this – You know I can’t handle any of this. In my own strength I’m USELESS – but in YOU, I’m amazing. Make me amazing today.” And I figure anything less than useless is Grace. 😀 (Amazing Grace, don’t ya know!!) 😉

  4. Maurice

    I see what you are saying, but I think it’s a little misrepresented.

    1 Cori. 10:13 expressly states that “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

    I think the real issue is not the size of the problem, but the means through which it is solved. The fact that there are challenges we find difficult to surmount doesn’t mean that these challenges are too much for us; it just means that we’re relying on our human abilities instead of God’s infinite ability. That’s why Paul said “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10), because it’s in realizing that we cannot do it that we *are* able to do it – through faith in Him (Prov. 3:5-6).

  5. Maurice, sounds like you and I are saying the same things. 🙂 We need to do it in His power, not in our own. And I think that’s the whole point. Our Father wants us to realize how much we depend on Him; our Father wants us to need Him; our Father wants us to die to ourselves and our own power and be IN Him.

    Easier said than done 🙂

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