So I’ve had a nagging on my heart to write about this topic. I’ve had so many people tell me this in the last little while, and I need to, Biblically, set the record straight. When I have doubts about what I am hearing as the truth, I turn to God’s Word to see if it aligns with the only Truth.
There is this cliché saying that “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. Well, that’s not true!! That tired, old phrase often sounds more like a taunt than a comfort. When we are down and out and feeling discouraged, hearing those words can cause us to feel like we are not measuring up. It makes us ask ourselves “If I am supposed to handle this, then why can’t I handle it?” I’ve searched and sought out the truth on and I have found answers. Think about Job for just a moment…..do you really think that he was able to “handle” all that he suffered through? Do you really think he had the capacity to just take it? If he didn’t have that firm foundation of faith, would he have still praised God and kept enduring? He did not curse God once in all his trials. He knew that God would stay faithful to him. God keeps his promises no matter what it is that He asks us to face.
So, where did the phrase about God not giving us too much come from? I believe it’s in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Paul writes about people being tempted and often choosing to do the wrong thing. Paul’s warning is tied to the reality of sin and temptation that meets us every day. With the warning, he also gives a promise. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) This is the verse often misquoted.
Paul pointed out that we have a choice when it comes to sin and temptation: engage in sin or flee from it. The promise is that God will always provide a way for us to run from it. But, Paul is talking about temptation, not suffering. With temptation we have a choice, but with suffering we often don’t have a choice. The night before Jesus was executed, He cried out “my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38) Jesus was saying “this is too much for me!”We see that in the Psalms too. These verses teach us that it’s OK to feel like we can’t handle it, like we are going to give up. We can cry out to God and tell Him we are “overwhelmed to the point of death” and find that Jesus suffers with us.
When we realize that life will give us more than we can handle, we find a promise: God is faithful to meet us in the mess and in the pain. We learn to recognize our constant need for Him. God can handle it! But, sometimes when it hurts, God can seem far away. We need each other to move ahead and move beyond tired, old phrases. When life becomes unmanageable, we need to be willing to walk alongside one another. We can help each other carry the weight. When we choose to sit and listen, walk with another, and help carry the load of heaviness, we become living proof that while life can sometimes just be too much, through the goodness of our God, we can move forward.
I’ve debated back and forth if I want to share the health issue #2. I think the biggest reason for me not sharing is, I hate being pitied. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. It makes me feel so helpless! I’ve come to the conclusion that I should share what it is that I am going through, to help people become aware that at any given moment, God can ask us to walk through something that we will not particularly enjoy, but also to realize He will fulfill His promises through our suffering. He will walk beside us. We are not alone!!
I have had an issue with my breast for a year now. It started last May. It became swollen and painful and I was quite undecided on what to think about it at first. I never have any sensitivity when I have my monthly, but I thought to myself that it may be related to that. So I waited. I thought I would see if it would go away or change throughout the course of the month. Nope. It didn’t. So I waited through another month, thinking that it would maybe change….and it didn’t. Along with the pain, I lost all my energy. I became quite depressed as we were kind of in between houses, living on the acreage we had just purchased, in our RV. It is not an ideal space for a family to live. I kept telling myself that it was temporary. That did nothing to console me. The reality was, on the days I had to literally drag myself out of bed and (keep the kids alive another day) was all I could manage, and those days were also days that I could not work on the house. Most of the renovating fell on me to complete as my hubby was so busy with work. It was the toughest summer I have ever had.
I finally went in to see my doctor and he agreed that something was not right with my breast. He sent me for an ultrasound, which was deemed “normal’. I was also sent to see a specialist….well we all know how that goes….wait 6 months to see them. First of all, she told me that just because I am told it’s normal doesn’t really mean that it is. They have to tell patients that when their test is within certain guidelines. Well that did nothing for my anxious heart! Then she went on to say that it could be a possibility of breast cancer, but since I am so young (28) that I wasn’t at a risk, and therefore not worth her time. I was so angry when I left her office. That was a slap in the face!! I waited 6 months to hear that I wasn’t worth her time. Well then….
At the encouragement of others to go back to my doctor and continue to seek an answer, I did. He set up another appointment with a specialist. This time, I only had to wait a few weeks to see him. He was really understanding and agreed that there was definitely something going on. He set up an MRI in Calgary for me. He told me it could take up to 6 months before I could get in. I shared that with our Bible Study group and we prayed about it. God hears our prayers…..I got a phone call that same afternoon that I was to have the MRI in a month. I was so thrilled!! Those long months of waiting are so hard!! Fast forward to yesterday. I had my MRI done. I got quite sick from the contrast dye they used to inject me with. I have had an MRI before but not with the contrast. I felt so miserable and wish that I had been able to find someone to go with me, considering I had to wake up at 4am to make the 3 hour drive to Calgary for my appointment. This morning, I’m still feeling very nauseous, but hope to get some work done on the computer. I do the books for the company that my husband and I own and with my upcoming back surgery, I really want to have everything in order.
Back to my breast for just a moment. I do not know what is happening. I am confident that I will be able to get some answers from the results. I see my doctor next week. I will post about it after my appointment. I feel like the breast is a personal issue, and maybe because if the way I was raised, but to my mind it’s a private part, so therefore a private matter. I don’t like to just sprinkle my problems everywhere. I have only shared this with family and few very close friends, so posting on here makes me feel vulnerable. Honesty is a virtue though, and in a way I feel a burden lifted now that these words are on the screen.
Does it feel like God has given me more than I can handle? Yes!! Breast pain, back pain, and boys that need extra attention. A family to take care of. A business to help run. A farm to take care of and animals to nurture. Yep, it’s a big load. It has made my attitude suck! My kids and husband have suffered under the pressure and pain I feel. It’s not fair to them. I know that God is with me and I will choose to lean on Him and seek shelter under His mighty wings. He has given me more than I can handle, so that I will trust Him more. He will be with me every step of the way. He will never leave me or forsake me (Matthew 28:20)
Now, I will cling to His truth and allow it to transform my attitude.