I read an article today, about how false it is to tell someone, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
It’s true, the false ring to that statement!
I won’t even try to list all the horrible tragedies that some people are facing. But you probably know somebody who is, or you might be facing something yourself.
I was just going to talk about what I know — motherhood.
Even my midwife uses this phrase. She said it to me when I sat in her office for my first visit with baby #4. I told her, “I didn’t mean to get pregnant this soon! I don’t know how in the world I’m going to handle four kids!”
She said, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”
Ha! I would have burst out laughing if I wasn’t the polite type. God gave me that baby, my sweet Megan, in spite of myself. He also gave me a mother-in-law that lives right next door, to help with my kids, and a husband that loves babies and doesn’t mind a disaster zone for a house. He gave my husband a good job, so we can afford to have babies. And he made the coffee bean. And placed the idea of Starbucks in somebody’s brain.
There’s absolutely no way on earth I could do this alone.
Just last night, for example, I was crying at 10:30, rocking my baby #6 to sleep. She doesn’t always sleep too well outside of my arms. So I had a mess in my kitchen, a mess in my laundry room, dust and dirt everywhere, clothes piled high in my bedroom, stuff covering my kitchen table and counters, and a chicken in the crock pot that’s been simmering on low for days.
Maybe it’s the chicken that got me. I’ve turned it off a couple of times now, let it cool, and then turned it back on because there’s no way I have time to pick the meat off the bones and make soup. So it’s still just cooking. It might still be cooking next week, or maybe I’ll just feed it to the cats.
I’d like to make bread, but I can’t even make it to the store to buy bread. So we’re dipping shredded wheat in hummus.
I did finally get my bathroom cleaned, halfway, heading into week #4 of unclean, while Mercy was lying on my bed after a diaper change. She seems to enjoy gazing around my room while I change her diaper, so I have about 5 minutes of free time until I have to pick her up again. I scrubbed in the toilets, since the grime was starting to come alive, (and when you sit on the toilet you don’t really want to think about living organisms down underneath…) and I wiped down on the toilet, so I don’t have to scrub dried pee off of Zach’s hands every time he pulls himself up to the bathroom sink.
Then 5 minutes were up, and Mercy told me she wanted me to hold her again.
I wiped down the floors today. Maybe I’ll do the sinks tomorrow.
I did take the trash out, since the maxi pads and piles of diapers were starting to stink up my whole room.
My Bible right now usually consists of flipping the daily calendar on my kitchen windowsill. If I get up at a decent time in the morning, I can read my Bible and drink coffee all alone. I’ve enjoyed that a few times. But Mercy usually sleeps until 8:00 or even 10:00 some mornings, and after sleeping off and on all night, half-sitting, propped up on pillows, I’m usually gonna choose the extra sleep!
My kids watch TV in the basement until I wake up and feed them.
I’m freaking out about another year of homeschooling. Add a newborn, and only God could pull off such a stunt!
I lean on Him, hard.
Last night, with tears burning my throat, and that sweet baby in my arms, I asked Him to help. Just. Help.
I don’t have elaborate prayers these days!
My suspicion is, that the people who do manage to do it all themselves are full of pride. And those people who are falling apart at the seams? Maybe even contemplating the end? Facing heartbreak? Why in the world would you tell them that they can handle this… That God expects them to… That He gave all this tragedy to them. What happens when they fall flat on their face? Shame, and failure.
No. If God did give it to them, He meant for them to bring that burden to Him.
And sometimes… sometimes it’s not God. Our adversary, the devil, walks about this world as a roaring lion. This fallen, sinful world. This world that is not meant to be our home. This world that is not perfect, and where people die. And people hurt you. And you have to watch children hurt and die. And God never meant it to be so full of pain.
(I’m not still talking about just having a lot of kids. I know why that happens!)
You might be lying if you tell somebody that God gave them the trial they’re facing. Maybe a couple who desperately wants children is facing infertility. Or a child is handicapped. Or dead. Or ill.
This world is ill, and God didn’t make it that way.
We did, and He offers hope. He will take vengeance on the evil that we were never meant to handle. He will justify the righteous and defend the innocent.
It doesn’t make the pain of this world go away, but it gives us hope. I’m pretty sure life would be terrible without hope!
Hope is Jesus. The answer is Jesus.
Next time you hear somebody say “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” please speak up and say, “Yes, He will, but He’ll also give you Jesus!”
(P.S. My laughable “trials” of motherhood insanity are nothing compared to what some of you are facing! I’m not trying to compare apples to oranges. But the answer is always Jesus.)