God won't give you more than you can handle | Stuff the Bible doesn't say
I sat across the table at a local coffee shop from a confused friend. She confessed that she felt unsure and cautious about her next step. A new opportunity had recently popped up in her life, but with a chaotic family situation, she felt hesitant to make the change. It was perfect for her. The opportunity felt like it had been dreamt up by God for this friend and delivered at her doorstep. With her iced vanilla latte in hand she said, "it just feels like it's all way more than I can handle."
It's so much easier to see this in other people than it is in ourselves. The discouraged tone, the confusion on her face, the hesitation to step into a new, unknown thing while other issues were still running rampant in her life. The truth was it all was a lot more than she could handle. We've all felt this before.
God will give you more than you can handle, but He won't give you more than He can handle.
Surrender your independent life
As teenagers, we all continually grasped at the idea of independence. Any step we could take toward independence was an important one. We couldn't wait to move out of the house, we were eager to get jobs, cars, and take on more responsibility just so we could be independent.
As a twenty-something, I struggle with "adulting" just as much as the next person. Just the other day, I broke something on accident that I paid a ton of money for. I was super bummed about my mistake and confessed to my husband, "I miss when I used to make mistakes and someone else took responsibility for them." As we talked about it, I realized this is what God does for us all the time. He's continually taking responsibility for our mistakes, but so many of us are too proud to turn to Him in our time of need.
Psalm 119 in the Message says,
"You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set."
Unlike eager teenagers to "go off on our own" a wise follower of Jesus willingly submits to His path, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
Depend on God's power
This weekend, our pastor shared a story that also demonstrates this perfectly. He took his daughter to a fancy steakhouse and when the bill came, she speculated about what would happen if he couldn't pay the bill. He simply told her that if he walked her into that restaurant, she could be confident He had the ability to pay.
This is God's heart toward us; if He leads us into something, no matter how chaotic, disappointing, frustrating or difficult it might seem, He has the ability to pay.
We can enjoy our experience free from anxiety or hurt when we're confident in our Father's identity, not our own.
Depending on anything other than God to deliver or provide for us prevents us from seeing His power, and keeps us feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Psalm 118 says,
"Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered. God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me? God’s my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies. Far better to take refuge in God than trust in people; Far better to take refuge in God than trust in celebrities."
The transition from being pushed to the wall to being confident and unafraid happens as soon as God is the One we are depending on. Depending on God and God's solutions allows us to take refuge and find true rest even in the midst of wild circumstances.
God can handle it
God will give you more than you can handle. When we have more than we can handle, we're able to rely on a God who can handle everything. The most popular verse to promote the idea that we won't be given more than we can handle is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
"No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it."
If you read it slowly and carefully, look at who the hero is. It's not us, it's God. God will never let you down. God will always be there to help you come through it.
The pressure is off; God is able so we don't have to be. God doesn't give us bad things. When we suffer due to living in a fallen world, or find ourself in difficult circumstances brought on by our own sin, or even if we walk into a situation with a big unknown, God's promise remains the same. He is present and all powerful.
God will give you more than you can handle, hopefully a lot more than you can handle.
Because as we find ourselves in situations that we can't handle, we learn to become more dependent on God and walk in greater unity with Him.