I can’t tell you how much I loved the blog post Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle by a pastor in Indiana named Nate Pyle. (If you read no further, please click the link and read his article. It will take a minute and will be worth it).
He addresses something I have heard over and over again this summer, “God will not give you more than you can handle.”
Let’s just be blunt and to his point: There is no actual Christian/biblical truth behind the saying.
This saying has become one of my pet peeves as I have heard it over and over this summer. I understand why people say it, and I know why people believe it (I used to be one of them), but in the end it’s wrong. And worse it really does an injustice to the person you are trying to give hope too.
I agree 100% with what Pastor Pyle said,
“Later, Paul will write it is when he is weak that the strength of Christ is seen. In other words, when we can’t do it any longer. When we are fed up. When it has become too much. When we have nothing left. When we are empty. When it is beyond our capability to deal with it. Then, in that moment, the strength of the God of resurrection will be seen. Until we get to that point, we rely on ourselves thinking we can handle it and take care of the problem.”
Instead of saying the lie that the tough stuff won’t be that bad, we need to rely on the truth that God will be your guide through the tough stuff.
I’ve seen God show up in wonderful ways, while I have been utterly broken over my son’s cancer. Everyone says I am strong. But the fact is, I have been stronger in my faith than ever before. Focusing on God, what he is doing in our lives, and how He is working in others through this, is what is making me strong.
I am getting through not because God “gave me” a manageable amount of crap. It’s that the world/enemy/whatever gave me a truck load of crap, and God threw me like 15 ropes to let me climb my way out.
… It’s a deeper theological issue, than I have the time or energy to defend here, getting into God’s purpose with us, why things happen, and blah blah blah. But like Pastor Pyle said,
“Don’t be fooled, those questions are only to be asked by the courageous. It is easy to spout trite Christian platitudes designed to make people feel better with bumper-sticker theology. But insipid axioms do little in the face of the actual brokenness of the world. It is more courageous to ask the hard questions of God and wait for him to answer than it is to find hope on the side of coffee mug.”