More than we can bear.

Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel (Creative Commons)

There’s a phrase going around in Christian circles lately that bothers me.

God will never put you through anything you can’t handle

It’s a fairly simple phrase, one we’ve all used to encourage those going through a tough time. It sounds nice, helps us handle life’s downs and communicates an aspect of God we all long to be true. It gives us hope when we feel hopeless, encouragement that we can overcome, and reminds us that God does indeed have everything under control. We even pull out our bibles and point to a single verse as proof that God will never give us anything we can’t handle.

The only problem is, it’s simply not true.

No where in scripture does God say He won’t put us through something we can’t handle. No where does He give us the promise that life won’t be too hard. He promises we won’t betempted beyond what we can bear, that He won’t let the enemy completely destroy us and control us, but He never promises a life we can handle.

In fact, He has a habit of allowing His people to go through situations they can’t handle.

The children of Israel are enslaved for 400 years, and it requires God sending ten plagues, parting the Red Sea and destroying the world’s largest army for them to get free.

Abraham and Sarah try for roughly 75 years to have a child, they fast and pray and cry out, they even take matters into their own hands and have a son through Sarah’s maidservant, and it takes God opening Sarah’s womb for her to conceive.

Joshua is tasked with destroying Jericho, the most impenetrable city in the Promised Land, with a group of nomads who were anything but skilled warriors, and it requires God destroying the walls to make it happen.

Daniel faces death in a lion’s den. Jeremiah is put in stocks and tried as a traitor. Joseph is sold into slavery. Gideon faces an army of thousands with only 300 people. Elijah comes against Jezebel. David faces Goliath. The disciples are tasked with changing the world. Lazarus dies.

Story after story after story of God’s children going through situations they can’t handle.
Story after story after story of difficulty, heartache and struggle.
Story after story after story of life being more than we can handle.

Without Him.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” — 2 Corinthians 4:7

It’s when we face situations we can’t handle on our won, it’s when we find ourselves in the midst of circumstances beyond what we alone can bear, it’s when we’re staring down death with no chance of getting out that God shows up and shows off.

It’s when we can’t handle a situation, that we see Him move.
It’s when we can’t bear the circumstances, that we see His power.
It’s when life gets too hard, we’re stretched to our breaking point, and we’re left helpless, drowning and feeling like nothing will ever change, that we lay aside our ideas of self-dependency and turn completely to Him.

He will allow us to be stretched beyond what we can handle in order to draw us closer to Him.

What have you gone through that was more than you could handle on your own?

written by Jason Vana. 


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