Have you heard or shared the phrase, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle"? Oh my goodness, I really hate this phrase, and all of its cousins - "God must sure love you to give you this trial," is one of those nasty versions. Or how about these, after the "trial," "What did you learn?" "Have you learned your lesson, yet?"
And think about it - is it our humanness, our way of comforting someone when we don't have other words, or a way of justifying hard times? Is it our way of self-cheering through hard times?
Well, the context for this seems to be 1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Yet, if we look at this scripture carefully, it is talking about temptation, not suffering, not pain. Temptation, and through His grace, if we are faithful, we will turn to Him rather than turn toward temptation, and then, we can handle the temptation.
Am I making sense?
Hardships such as bad health, sick kids, anxiety, these are things of this world - and so we deal with the natural consequences that come with this world. God doesn't give these to us, we don't ask for these hardships, they are just a part of this natural world.
So when I had cancer, that wasn't God's love showing up in the disguise of a lump in my chest. That's the natural world - there was suffering that went along with this, there were hardships, sure, there was growth and knowledge and experiences gained, but this was no gift from God! Cancer is a bad disease that is somehow related to this world, earth, not a temptation! And when my pain was too much to bear, I didn't buck up because God said I could handle this, I crumpled, and ran to His arms for comfort.
A parent doesn't whip a child just to see if they can stand/bear the whipping! My God is a God of love, who will be there for hugs and comfort when natural suffering appears, and He will be there for me when temptation arises - because I know He is near, and with His help, I will rise above the temptation.
Matthew 26:38-39, when Christ is in the Garden of Gethsemane, we here him asking for help, for relief, when he prayed, Christ turned to Father because of pain;
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
When life seems to throw us more than we can handle, we turn to our Higher Power for relief, for comfort, asking for His mercy and grace.
So I'm calling BS on "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." I am officially protesting the use of this phrase and asking for a ban of it - unless used in context!