We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes;
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end.
He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .
So last Saturday I wrote a post about an exceptionally bad week that had occurred and how I thought that my current living situation and lack of sleep had contributed to my ability to handle the events of the week. After I posted that I received several words of encouragement including one from an individual to remind me that God will not place more on you than you can handle. We all know this statement or variations of it, and if we have been believers for more than a couple of days we have probably used this phrase to encourage someone else. I appreciated the sentiment behind the expression of that statement, but it got me thinking; “God never gives us more than we can handle”:
The more I thought about this common phrase the more I doubted it’s validity, at least on face value. In fact, I began to think that the notion that God would never allow us to experience any situation in life that is too much for us to bear was actually quite preposterous. The conclusion I reached is that God does in fact, probably on a fairly regular basis, allows us to experience situations in our lives that are more than we can handle. I also concluded that God has good reason for allowing us to find ourselves in these situations:
God desires a relationship with us. I have to admit that I tend to turn to God and strive to relate more regularly and with more intensity when I am experiencing difficulties. As much as I want and intend to have a close relationship with God, the relationship never seems to click the way it does when I am in difficult times. When I am in the valleys of life I have no choice but to look up toward God. When I make it through the valley and onto the next peak I get distracted by the view. Somehow I doubt that I’m the only one.
By allowing us to experience valleys in life, God is inviting us to look to him to get us through. And in those times that the valleys are particularly deep, He is there with His strength to carry us. If God made sure that we never had to handle more in life than our own strength could bear, how many of us would never turn to him for help? Steven Curtis Chapman said it quite elegantly in his song His Strength is Perfect, “We can only know the power that He holds, when we truly see how deep our weakness goes.”
So its not about God preventing us from experiencing situations in life that are more than we can handle; it’s a matter of knowing that regardless of how weak and unable we may be to bear the pressure, God’s strength is perfect and there is no situation in life that he cannot bear for us. Phillipians 4:13
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.