God will never give us more than we can handle. We hear that a lot, but is that phrase actually in the Bible? No, it is not. Bible enthusiasts will provide scriptures that allude to the notion. Pastors will give explanations. But, nowhere does the Bible say God will never give us more than we can handle. Well-intentioned people, loving people, say these words to us when times are tough when the waves of life threaten to overtake when the light dims at the end of the tunnel. They are words meant to encourage, and perhaps, in some cases, they do. When I hear these words, I think about people who take their own lives because life became overwhelming. In my mind, these people were given more than they could handle.
Christians will say, this is where faith comes in. Does it? What if I am overwhelmed and cannot muster one tiny grain of faith? Yeshua (Jesus) is quoted as saying that all we needed was faith the size of a mustard seed. But did he actually say that? The books of the Bible were written decades after Yeshua’s death on the cross. There is no way to validate anything Yeshua may have said.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God, Divine Love. I also believe in Yeshua, just not the picture the Bible paints. And, what bothers me most about the statement that God does not give us more than we can handle is that often we come to the conclusion that either the statement is not true, therefore someone got it wrong, God is a liar, or God doesn’t care – supposing one believes in God at all. I don’t want to think of God as a liar, so if God isn’t a liar, the statement is a lie. Why lie to people?
Back in the day when I faithfully followed the tenets of Christianity and attended church as often as the doors were open, my former mother-in-law, who was a wise, God-fearing woman, told me the statement wasn’t true. And, I have forever kept her words in my heart. If ever there was a devoted follower of the cross, it was my mother-in-law.
The other thing about the statement that rubs the wrong way is that God dishes out the crushing blows. Christians like to blame the devil or Satan, but is God to blame, as well? What about Job? According to the Bible, God put Job to the test. If ever a man suffered, it was Job who ended up sitting on an ash heap scraping his boils. Again, well-meaning Christians say God doesn’t give us trials and tribulations, God allows them into our lives. Aren’t we splitting hairs? But, how do we know if the trials and tribulations are from Satan or God?
I read several explanations from pastors and Bible enthusiasts regarding this statement. The twists and turns people take to make sense of the notion are confusing, at best. If it takes that many brain-twisting somersaults can we trust the explanation?
I don’t think the Bible is wrong. I think it is mostly full of man’s opinions with the character of God sprinkled throughout. In part, a lot of the Bible is man’s attempt to explain the inexplicable. We want answers, we want to understand. I get it.
The Bible says God is love. I believe that. God is pure, Divine Love. We are not God’s chess pieces moved about the chessboard of life at God’s whim. Every encounter with others, every circumstance, every life event is a learning opportunity. Life on earth is imperfect because people are imperfect. Trials and tribulations will come our way. The trials and tribulations are merely part of the learning process, not tests from God or fiery arrows from the pits of hell. As spirits living in bodies having life experiences, we are constantly learning, but I don’t believe that means we are purposefully given more than we can handle…..