God Never Gives Us More Than We Can Handle?

March 12, 2012

God never gives us more than we can handle, right? How many times have you had a well meaning friend say this to you? The problem is not with the phrase, it is what we do with it.

The subtext you hear in your head and in your psyche is what says whether this phrase is an affirmation that reminds you to open to more support, or whether you feel overwhelmed, judged and ultimately punished by God because of the what is going on in your life.

Subtext number one – GOD put this on you. And, that means that you are somehow not living up to your highest potential and that GOD is challenging you with this event, this illness, this overwhelming amount of stuff to deal with, etc. You could read it further to mean that ¬†you have somehow blocked out God or life’s support such that these experiences have been dropped into the lap of your existence. More judgement heaped upon yourself.

Second subtext: If God gave it to you, then you somehow must deserve it – shut up and deal with it. It is yours. If you cannot see or call in the resources needed to deal with it, then you are somehow deficient, because God would not give you something that is more than you can handle. Quit whining…

When I find myself wanting to tell someone to quit whining, it is inevitably my own internal signal to step back and refill myself because there is nothing to give this other person in that moment. From an empty tank then, “God never gives us more than we can handle” becomes the code for “Stop whining – we all have stuff to deal with, put your big-girl pants on and just do what needs to be done!”

This infers that God is an external, judgmental (perhaps it feels like punishing) diety. Rather than an internal Divine Spark of Life that can guide our way when we are lost.

As family, friends, and community of someone caught in the overwhelm of a health challenge, a huge loss, etc. the only response that affirms each of us in our full potential, is to meet that person where they are and offer them what you can, given your circumstances. Healthy boundaries are vital here.

What if the judgmental feelings are going on inside yourself with no one else’s input? This is a signal that you are caught in an exhausting battle that does not allow for the respite that brings healing. Our human experience is not black and white, nor easy to simplify in most cases. It requires that we embrace all shades of gray in our experience and hold them all as gently as we can, releasing what no longer works. That allows for the space to truly receive whatever information or support is there for us.

At those times where you feel like God or life is giving you more than you can handle, consider stepping back for a moment and looking again at your life choices and your internal dialogue.

We are living in interesting times, where challenges are all around us. How we meet those events and walk with them contribute greatly to the grace and ease we feel in our lives.

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