Ever feel like God has given you more than you can handle? You're in good company...and God offers us real hope:
We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
~ 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9
“God won’t give you more than you can bear,” is a popular Christian sentiment, meant to encourage the person who is suffering or experiencing some trial. Yet when your world is falling apart, it does not encourage; it brings uncertainties and a sense of failure—after all, if we can’t handle what we’re facing, what does that say about our faith and our God?
To me this thought both denies reality and waters down God’s power in our lives. It encourages us to be stronger on our own, and to believe there is something wrong with our faith or we could handle our pains better.
The reality is, there are often things in this life that are so awful, terrible, complicated, overwhelming, or painful that they are, indeed, beyond what we can endure. Paul, famous for his joy in the midst of suffering, the man who sang in prison after being beaten, admitted the hardships that he and his companions bore were far beyond their ability to endure, and despaired. Sometimes we will too.
We can stop striving to be spiritual giants who can bear anything "with God's help." Help is for the hard times only, for getting past that rough spot until we can do it on our own again. We were not made to handle things on our own. Relying on God doesn't ever end. It's a continual, daily process of relinquishing self to God. It's continual communion with him.
(excerpted from Invisible Illness, Visible God: When Pain Meets the Power of an Indestructible Life, day 57.)