“Don’t worry, God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
Ever heard this? Did it make you want to punch the person that said it in the face? Perhaps a drop kick to the throat? (Maybe I watching too much Taekwondo with the kids…)
Here’s the deal: IT’S A CHRISTIAN LIE. It’s a myth that somehow started in Christian circles to give some people assurance they could handle anything. The problem is that it gives false hope in ourselves, which many times leads to an even deeper feeling of failure. It inadveretantly makes us think we can handle it without the help of God.
Now for all my theologian friends that want to say, “but it’s in the bible,” you might want to back that train back up into the Matthew Henry station for a sec there. You are referring to 1 Corinthians 10:13, and just a little study and you will find that God is referring to temptations not being more than you can handle which is quite a bit different than just circumstances in life.
The reality is that many times in life you will be in a season where there is just too much going on that you simply can’t handle. You might be a single parent trying to work jobs and raise kids. Maybe you are a CEO trying to deal with a major business idea. Maybe a pastor that is crazy in love with his church, and wants to make it the best he can. You can insert anything here, and all the feelings will be the same. You will feel like everything is out of control, and you are that guy trying to keep all the plates spinning. I am there right now, and I will get through it, but I know one day I’ll be there again. It’s part of life. So how do you handle it? Here’s a few things that help me:
- Breathe. Sounds dumb right? Science shows that the simple act of stopping, and taking some very intentional deep breaths floods the body with much needed oxygen. Plus for a control freak like me, this is one thing I can ALWAYS control.
- Pray. “Ok, here goes the pastor with the spiritual stuff…” Hey knucklehead, you can’t handle it all so why not talk to the one who can, will, and already has the plan! Sometimes my “prayer” is me just sitting alone and listening. BUT start with prayer, don’t exhaust all other options and have prayer as your bail out plan.
- Get it out. I am a white board junkie. Big time. When I am overwhelmed I start writing down everything that is on my plate. Getting it all out is the first part of formulating a plan. Use a legal pad, ipad, anything that will allow you to capture everything that is heavy on your heart.
- Do what you can and leave the rest for God. “Great, here he goes with the spiritual mumbo jumbo again…” Don’t make me go straight Old Testament on you! You can only do what you can do. There are some things that are out of your control and it will be those things that God will handle. Be patient. Work the plan.
Yes, God is going to allow you to have more than you can handle, BUT never more than He and you can handle…together.
Find life…live grace…become hope.