Several years ago, I hit rock bottom. One thing after another was taken away from me and I tried - I tried so hard to be strong through it all. I took it upon myself to be "the strong one". I felt like I needed to be a rock for everyone else who was being affected by everything that was happening.
Eventually, the load became to much for me to bear on my own and I broke. I felt weak... I felt like a failure... and for some reason, I handled my grief and anger by not eating. It wasn't that I wanted to be skinnier; it was half self-punishment and half numbness.
God was allowing it all to happen, and yet it was more than I could handle.
But before I get on a soapbox, let's look at the scripture that the expression comes from.
1 Cor 10:13 - 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.
That's a little different, isn't it? Now that that's out of the way, I want to get into why this expression is so dangerous and why it should be erased from our vocabulary.
It was more than I could handle
It wasn't too much for God.
I forgot that God alone is our rock, and this was never a role He wanted me to take on.
We are easily overwhelmed when operating in our own strength, but when we rely on God - we find peace, strength, and comfort.
So why is "God won't give you more than you can handle" so dangerous?
1. It puts all the weight on you.
It can easily be interpreted as "Well, God has given you the weight, so He must think you can carry it." In other words, "put on your big-girl panties and deal with it."
2. It misrepresents the heart of God toward you.
When we put pressure on ourselves to carry something that God never intended for us to bear, it can eventually lead to anger with ourselves as well as with Him. "God, you think I can handle this but I can't! Why are you doing this to me? What you are asking me to endure is impossible." We can easily see God as the source of our storm, when in fact, He is our refuge from it.
3. It isn't really scriptural.
... and we need to stop acting like it is.
God never promises not to give us more then we can handle - but He does promise that no matter what storms we walk through in this life: He is with us and our eternity is secure in Him.
Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God will never give you more than He can handle.