I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this cliche which is well-meaning, but not very good theology: God will never give you more than you can handle. I suspect it’s a mashup of I Corinthians 10:13 (which is talking about temptation and sin) and too much time in the Hallmark store.
Regardless of its origins, it drives me a little crazy because it implies there’s a supernatural safety valve and don’t you worry, because when this battle gets really tough, He’ll fix it.
But for me, it is tough and He hasn’t. Fixed it, that is. He’s been with us in it. He’s gone before us. He comforts us on the days when strength and hope are so far in the rear view that I’m sure they’re gone for good. He has been with us in this fight and we’re so thankful but make no mistake: it’s is well beyond our ability. Beyond, beyond. Super beyond.
And that’s okay, because He excels at being God when I cannot and He has a pretty impressive track record. Nearly every Bible hero I admire faced a situation far outside their weight class. Come to think of it, so have the people I admire most in my world. Something beautiful happens in us when we are outnumbered and in over our heads, so let’s not wish those moments away or pump platitudes at people who are suffering because we aren’t sure what else to say; let’s just be thankful that He will be in the fights that are most definitely more than we can handle. Let’s, in fact, rejoice when we are given opportunities to live, love, battle and forgive in ways that far exceed our own abilities.
Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble…” (and I’m pretty sure He’s talking about the Big Stuff — the Red Sea-meets-Goliath-meets-fiery-furnace type of trouble) but cheer up! He has – ultimately and eternally – overcome the world. Weeping may last for this moment, but heaven will have the last laugh.
Count on it.