When I was younger, I was often confused by the statement, “God will never give us more than we can handle.” I had witnessed far too many situations that suggested otherwise: parents who never found peace after losing a child; military veterans who struggled to function due to PTSD; neighbors whose personal lives crumbled after losing their business. Even more common misfortunes, such as divorce, can lead to depression, substance abuse, or suicide. I’m sure that all of us can recall a situation that slowly spiraled out of control and ended tragically. For years, these examples baffled me. Why would God—who loves us and knows us so well—give us more than we can handle?
As I aged and experienced struggles of my own, I was able to gain a different perspective: It wasn’t God who was handing out all of this misfortune—it was life. Many of the wonderful aspects of life also allow for plenty of misfortune: the amazing gift of “free will” allows us to also make poor decisions with dire consequences; the incredible Laws of Physics also allow us to slip, fall, and break bones; the recent pandemic proves that the simple act of breathing enables us to inhale disease. There’s no denying that life gives us struggles and burdens, heartaches, and loss.
God, however, gives us a path to rise above and provides resources (both tangible and intangible) to overcome life’s misfortunes. God provides hope, strength, faith, and perseverance. God renews our spirit. God gives us new life. The Bible is riddled with quotes about God’s undying support. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).
Knowing that God is in my corner allows me to live life to the fullest. Although I’m never excited to face adversity, it’s encouraging to know exactly where to turn when hardship strikes.
My personal meditation was also a tribute to my father, whom I lost to one of life’s many misfortunes. I thank God for the strength to work through it. I’d also like to thank the Upper Room community for serving as one of God’s resources. Your meditations, responses, and feedback have literally helped millions who struggle with hardships of their own. Thank you for everything you do!
“When we are living in our truest deepest selves we know how to care and connect.”