Faith, Hope, Pain and suffering, parenting, Spiritual Growth

I Can’t Handle It!!

Have you heard the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle?”

That is an outright lie!

The Sunday after I learned of my husband’s affair, we went to a new church. The pastor was preaching a series on, “You Can’t Handle It.” He spoke of the trials of this life and how we, as humans, are not designed to carry the burden, that many times the pressure is simply too much for us to bear.

And that’s the way God designed it.

Repeatedly, God tells us it’s not our responsibility to handle it, to carry the weight of the trials of this life. For example, 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. Exodus 14:14 tells us to be still and let Him fight for us. John 16:33 says we will have trouble in this world but He has already overcome those trials. Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry. Just as God cares for the lilies of the field and sparrows, He will also tend to our every need.

The struggles of this world are not ours. They belong to Him. He never intended for us to carry the burden. Instead, He always planned to carry it for us.

The trials of this life are not about how much we can carry; they are about how much He can carry.

And there is no weight capacity on God.

Some of you may be questioning right now, asking about 1 Corinthians 10:13. It is probably one of the most misquoted scriptures. Here’s what it says:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1Corinthians 10:13

There’s one key word in this passage: temptation. No temptation is so great that you cannot overcome. That is a scriptural promise. If you are faced with a temptation, God always has a way out. No temptation is more than you can handle.

But what’s the difference between trials and temptations? A temptation is the desire to eat too much, where a trial is the struggle with an eating disorder. A temptation is the desire to have sex with someone outside the bounds of marriage, but a trial is the burden of overcoming the pain created by adultery. A temptation is the desire to drown your sorrows in alcohol, but a trial is the sickness of a loved one.

A temptation is the opportunity to sin, but a trial is the painful circumstances of living in a fallen world.

There are many of us facing overwhelming trials: adultery, divorce, sickness, financial ruin, death. Our lives have been turned upside-down, often by no fault of our own. We are watching our entire lives crumble, wondering how we can ever bear up under the increasing pain and pressure. We are treading water, simply hoping we can keep our heads above water.

And we are on the verge of drowning.

We see no way out, no way of escape. The pain and pressure are pressing down on us, and we can’t carry the load any longer. We desperately want out, but life just keeps happening.

And we can’t handle it.

I’m right there with you. I’m done, crumbling under the pain and pressure of life. I can’t keep going. I am ready to throw in the towel, simply escape from life. I can’t carry the burden any longer.

It’s not the financial strain of mounting medical bills now totaling in the neighborhood of $10,000.

It’s not the stress of trying to walk my children through the pain and grief of losing their father.

It’s not the exhaustion of working full-time, ministering part-time, and being a full-time mom to three active teenagers.

It’s not the pressure of lies being told about me in an attempt to destroy me and my reputation.

All of these things together are bad…possibly as bad and as stressful as the pain and devastation I suffered years ago during the early days of adultery and divorce.

But when you throw in health problems for one of your very own children, your heart and soul? As you stand by helplessly, wondering what the future has for your daughter? When you stand over an unresponsive child, watching her body convulse and wonder if she will pull out of it?

That is more than I can handle.

Yes, my baby had her second seizure this weekend and is now on anti-seizure medication…and I am about to lose it. Crumbling in a heap. Tears staining my cheeks. No longer able to handle the pressure.

And I’m reminded that God does give us more than we can handle.

But He doesn’t give us more than He can handle.

What now? How do I let it go and trust Him with my burdens? How do I throw my cares on Him and let Him take them?

Surrender. I’m at the end of my rope, unable to handle the pressure. I’m tired of carrying the burdens, of straining under the weight of this life.

I hear God whisper, “Surrender. Trust me with your cares and your burdens. I’ve entrusted you with these trials because I know the outcome. I know your faith will be strengthened and these trials will help conform you more to my image.”

So today, I pause before my Savior, throw my arms in the air, and say, “I can’t handle it. I’m finished. All of these trials are yours. You take them, because I don’t want them anymore.”

I am choosing to intentionally release my grip on this life and trust Him to handle it.

Seek His purpose. Somehow, some way, God is using this pain to conform me to His image, to prepare me for whatever He has planned for my future. I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t know what these trials are working into my life…nor what they are working out of my life.

But I know my Savior. I know all things work together for my good (Romans 8:28). I know He has a purpose in my pain, one that will eventually enrich my life in ways I never dreamed.

God is going to use this season. One day I will look back in amazement at what God did, and I will be able to use this time to point the world back to Him.

I must simply trust His omniscience and sovereignty.

Yoke with Him. You’ve probably heard Matthew 11:28-30.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

But what does it mean to yoke with Jesus? It’s a picture of two oxen, one considerably larger than the other. A heavy beam has been placed across their backs so they can pull their load, possibly a plow or a wagon. But the larger ox is carrying the weight while the smaller ox is simply learning.

And that’s how it is with Jesus. He carries the heavy yoke, the burden, while we simply walk beside Him, learning from Him. We don’t have to exert the energy because He is doing all of the work. And, when we take His yoke, it is light, easy, filled with love and kindness…and rest.

Here’s where I am today: I am looking back on my relationship with my Father, remembering His great faithfulness over the years. I know He has never failed me before, and He won’t fail me now. I have to trust that He has my best interest in mind, even when it seems there’s no way this mess can work for my good. But I must move forward, acting in obedience even when it makes no sense, even when it seems life is crumbling before me. And, when I find myself trusting even in the midst of chaos, I can know that I will find rest for my weary soul.

Can’t handle the pressures of this life? It’s ok. God never expected you to handle it.

 

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31 thoughts on “I Can’t Handle It!!”

  1. Dena: I can fill your pain but I also feel your strength in knowing God’s Promises will never fail us. Even when darkness tries to overtake us , God defends and conquers all with His perfect love which casts out all fear. I would love desperately to have words of comfort for you that would heal all but I can simply say I am following God with my whole heart….. It sounds as if you are too. He is the author and finisher of our new story that is being rewritten. To Him be the Glory alone!

    1. Thank you, Joy. Seven years ago when my life crumbled, I crumbled right along with it. Today, I relish the fact that I have my moments, but I have a quiet confidence, a perfect peace. I don’t understand. I don’t know what the future holds. But I have complete confidence in His plans and His goodness.

  2. Dena, please reread your encouraging words again detaching from the fact that you authored them. They are so true. Thank you, once again, for allowing God to speak through you. He is good – great enough to handle it all, small enough to hold your tears. I am praying for you. You’ve got this ’cause He’s got YOU! Thank you for ministering to my broken heart today simply by sharing your story. May God hold you close and bless you richly.

      1. Hi. Thanks for your words of wisdom on here.
        Unfortunately I am the cause of much pain and sorry on my wife and on myself. It wasn’t until she actually left that I realized the damage I had done to us.
        I have repented and am seeking help to be sure I don’t do anything damaging again. I am desperately asking for your prayers and any words of encouragement.
        I feel so unworthy to even ask now. I do believe that God is a forgiving God. I am also praying that my wife’s grief and pain subsides quickly as she tries to move forward.

      2. Sometimes it takes us hitting rock bottom before we realize what we have and desire to live God’s way. I am thrilled you have repented and chosen God’s way! What a testimony he is weaving for you. HOld to Him and let Him love you through it all, making you into the man God created you to be. He loves you so much He isn’t willing to leave you in your sin. You are chosen, redeemed, dearly loved.

  3. Amen Dena. I walk with you in this one. We will overcome because He said so. It will be a grand and glorious day when we can all look back and smile just a little. Stay in your lane to walk and run because the finish line is just ahead. Thank you for sharing a tender heart.

  4. My heart is heavy for you sister through trial after trial. Know that your response is strengthening many, and that you are prayed for. Hugs from Florida.

    1. Thank you. We will take all the prayers we can get. God is faithful, and He will see us through as He always does. I fell apart Sunday, but His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

  5. Hello! Dena
    It’s true he is our trustee. Even if we try on our own we can never overcome but he can! Surrender is the key. We have to surrender everything and wait on him.

  6. Prayers to you and your family. You will make it through and all of you will be stronger! I know a family, my daughter is friends with one of their 4 girls, and I know at least 3 of the girls had seizures for years. They are all healthy and beautiful and your daughter will be healed!

  7. I don’t remember how I find out about your blog but am so thankful for the truth you share. My prayer for you and your children is from Psalm 54. Save Dena and her children by your name and vindicate them by your power. Answer their prayers. Foes have risen against them, people who do not follow You. You are their Helper and sustainer of their souls. Destroy all the forces of evil in your faithfulness. May Dena and her children offer you sacrifices of thanksgiving, for you are good. You have already delivered them from trouble and will continue to do so. Let them see your great salvation again.

  8. Your writings very encouraging. As a single mother of three I can relate to a lot of what your going thru. So many women going through same trials and don’t know how to surrender. My prayers for you and your family supernatural strength sister. You are a Blessing to us women of faith, thank you for sharing. KEEP STANDING ON THE ROCK!!

  9. Dena, I am lifting you and your kids in prayer. They know their mom is hurting now, and they are watching how you handle it, how you trust Jesus with all these things. Parents wish an easy road for them, but if it must be hard, may they learn from the way we handle the difficulties. Of that you are doing an excellent job. Still that is little consultation when you are so tired…. I will ask the Lord to give all of you rest and peace, and physical healing for your little girl.

  10. Dena, you have been in my prayers all week. I will continue to lift you up in prayer. Our God sees us and hears us!

  11. Hi, Dena. I just discovered this post in my email (I must admit I subscribed a week or two ago and haven’t had time to spend just reading, it seems). That is because it was for me today. Although my circumstances are a bit different from yours, I felt as if you were writing straight to my heart. Or God was through you. Thank you.

  12. Dear Dena, so blessed to come across your blog. To know there are other women going through similar experiences, because sometimes you feel so alone and think no one quite understands the pain and struggle. Also about to be divorced after 5 years of separation, a mother of 4 daughters, it has been a painful journey but one that has also brought me closer to God, and seeking his word earnestly. Please be blessed by his word in Psalm 46:5. God is always in the midst of you, helping you. God bless you, your children and your ministry. God bring bring total healing to your daughter and your heart and circumstances. In all things we give thanks because he is indeed the lifter of our head. You have encouraged me greatly today, I just want you know to you have touched a lady living in Nigeria currently on holiday in London, UK. Remain blessed!!!! Your ministry is touching people around the world. Praise God.

  13. Hi Dena
    You know you and your family are so loved by your father in heaven. God bless your special children. I have just got divorced following my husbands adultery . I send blessings to him and his partner. What an amazing god we serve. We cannot understand why your kids dad has left their lives so young . Please remain quiet in jesus strength. Your children will be wonderful followers of Jesus’s you are on my heart. Katherina from Ireland. X

  14. Dena…I am just now seeing this post. I am sending a BIG HUG to you and your children. May God bring swift mercy and simple practical remedies to your daughter!!!
    And a BIG AMEN to the truth in this post!!
    And a BIG heartfelt prayer for God to provide you a season of refreshing….daily refreshing as well!!
    Your writing is such a rare affirmation to those going through trials….both chronic and temporary trials. So often we suffer alone…rare is the person who will come alongside and acknowledge the depths or intense pain of one”s suffering.
    Most of the time people throw out the affirmation you mentioned about God not giving us more than we can handle. This does nothing to alleviate one”s pain. Or acknowledge one”s suffering.
    Thank you Dena for your willingness to share honestly of your pain and long suffering. It gives a voice to the pain that often those in ministry go through. I believe God has granted you the gift of wisdom to help shatter some of the myths surrounding trials. And to give an understanding voice to those going through tough circumstances. THANK YOU!!

    1. I’m trusting God and believing in my healing. He will not leave me or forsake me. Thanks for the encouraging words! Keep me in your prayers.

  15. Dena, I have had my world crumble and then crumble again. I lost both my parents, which rocked my world and I said” God I can’t go on” but one of my daughters helped pull me through, but I was unable to help her, and lost her a few months ago, and my grandson whom I raised was taken by his bio dad, who my grandson didn’t even know. I am now fighting in court to see him. I worry everyday if he’s OK and how is he at 6byears old dealing with the loss of his mother, whom he loved more than anyone, all alone in a home where he knows no one and has nothing from the first 6 years of his life. I can’t handle it the pain is to great, so I have handed it to God, and feel a peace I can’t explain. But at times the worry hits me out of the blue and must work hard to trust the Lord. Thank you for your words, as I sit here crying over the unknown, and missing my grandson. I know that it will pass and God will give me peace again and I must just wait and trust that the Lord will do what is right and just where my grandson is concerned. It will be a hard holiday this year, after losing so many I love, but I know that it’s just one Christmas and that God will bring me through to an even better holiday next year. Sorry so long but a really hard day today. God bless

    1. Oh how my heart aches for you! It has been a difficult Christmas for us, too, but I can’t imagine what you are going through. I wish I could give you a big hug, let you know you are not alone and you are loved. I wish I could be the hands and feet of Christ to you. While I can’t physically be there, please know I am here in spirit with you…and you are being prayed for.

      Lord Jesus, my heart aches for my friend and all of her losses. You know her heart, her pain, her hurt. You hear her prayers and see her anguish. Give her an extra dose of your love and your presence today and throughout this holiday season. May she know the goodness of your grace and your mercy. Redeem her pain. Repay her double blessings for every pain. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

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