Sunday, August 17, 2014

Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle?

I grew up using the phrase, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle," and it works great as an encouragement for us when times get rough. It helps us to believe that whatever is thrown our way we were made to handle. But what if that is all wrong? I mean, I thought this was scriptural, but when I looked it up in 1 Corinthians 10:3 it stated, "No temptation has overtaken you except that which is common to man, but God is faithful, he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able."  I don't know about you, but I believe that this verse is talking about temptations or sins in our lives, not to circumstances in life. In fact I'm going to be as bold as to say I think that phrase is wrong and we should stop using it. Because I believe God does give us more than we can handle because He doesn't want us to get through it ourselves, but to lean on Him.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 "I was crushed... so much so that I despaired even of life, but that was to make me rely not on myself, but on the God who raises the dead."

I believe I am living proof of this. Eight weeks ago Tim and I found out that after 21 months of trying, I was pregnant! We went in to do the blood work and my numbers looked great. We went in for the 6 week ultrasound to hear the heartbeat on July 7th. We had been in the ultrasound room a short while before we knew something was wrong. The ultrasound tech said, "It looks like the pregnancy is in your Fallopian tubes, but I'll get the Dr." The doctor came in and told me that because of my numbers, I was too far along and would have to go into emergency surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy. So on a day we were trusting and looking forward to, everything changed in an instant. And as I lay in bed the next week and recovered from the surgery I thought, "This is too much!" I have gone from a miscarriage, to a child that died, to infertility, and now this ectopic pregnancy and surgery two weeks before the anniversary of Quinn's death. When is enough, enough?! I have been given more than I can handle!

I listened to a sermon on disappointment that week online and it really spoke to me. It talked about 4 stakes we need to secure our tent (or the dwelling place where we meet God) for when the storms of disappointment come and the 1st one hit me like a ton of bricks. YOU ARE NOT GOD.  It seems so simple, but if we really reflect on that, we are all living our lives claiming God is #1 but acting as if we are God or like we could do a better job. We live in a society where I can build my own house, I can post pictures of how great I am and people write me praises, I can sit in front of a TV and push a button and it turns on. We are the gods of our own lives and when that is threatened (we don't get the job we thought was perfect, we don't meet the man of our dreams right away, we don't have children when we want to, etc.) that is the root of our disappointment and really most of our "whys". If there is a supreme being, that we call GOD, who sees the whole universe, our past, our surroundings, our future, our heart, who is all knowing, who IS love, then why do I secretly believe I (who am selfish, and have only been to this continent, and have only lived for 31 years, and have probably met 5,000 people in my life, and AM HUMAN)  would have the 1st clue on how life should be?

Isaiah 29:16 "You turn things upside down as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'You did not make me'? Can the pot say to the potter, 'You know nothing'?"

Jeremiah 18:3-4 "So I went down to the potter's house and saw him working at the potter's wheel. He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. So he used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be."

And this is why God gives us more than we can handle: 1. Because He is God and He can- He knows what he is doing and how our story is going to pan out and 2. Because He is God and we can trust Him and His ways. We don't have to "handle" it, that's God's job.
I don't necessarily think that something was wrong in my life, but I do think that God is the potter and He is making me, his clay, into something new. Right after Quinn died, Tim and I mourned for many things, but one was that we will never be the same. That a part of us died with Quinn. And even now I still believe that to be true, but I don't think any of us are meant to stay the same. This life brings us joys and struggles that continually evolve and change us. Some are more subtle, some more drastic. And with that change is pain, but also rebirth.

Revelation 21:5 "Behold, I am making everything new."


  1. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. Alison, you are such a great writer. So beautiful and speaks to me. Have you ever thought about writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries or Love God Greatly .com (formerly Good Morning Girls)? You are a blessing! Praising God for you! ~Julie (Warren) Ruiter

  3. Alison, I had no idea what all you have been through. My heart goes out to you. I find it ironic that you wrote about God giving us more than we can handle. I too have written something very similar about events in my life a while back. I commend you for being bold and for following your heart. You are and have always been such a sweet, loving spirit. I love you and will keep you and Tim in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I think you are very right, although I struggle sometimes to apply it. It can be difficult to let go of my idea of "good gifts" from my Heavenly Father and let HIM decide what's best for me. Thank you for your transparency in your journey.

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I would have to say that I agree with you. It's when it's too much that we have to let God handle it because there's no way we can do it on our own. Praying for God to continue giving comfort, patience, and wisdom when you need it.