Given More Than We Can Handle

I about broke down this last weekend. Saturday morning started out with my five year old daughter almost flooding our kitchen. She managed to get into the sink, plug it up, completely fill both sides with water, along with my houseplants, orchids, and a handful of raw eggs she smashed that had been sitting on the counter, all in record time. This resulted in yelling on both my husband’s and my part and an altogether rotten start to the day.

You know, there’s some days that we can laugh about moments like this, and believe me we do since they happen almost daily in our house, but other days, days like Saturday, it takes just about every ounce of strength to not go lock myself in a closet and cry. Some days I just want to be able to go to the bathroom and not have to worry about what I’ll find when I come out.

Well, this fun moment ended up setting the stage for a long weekend of mischief and messes and stress. And I find that when this happens, my grief tends to bear its ugly teeth more and I altogether get really really sad. Those debilitating phrases like “you can’t do this” or “why do I have to go through this?” or “what is the point to all this?” start to surface and really begin to take a toll on me.

By Saturday night I was just mad. I finally got down on my knees and gave my Father in Heaven a piece of my mind and told him how frustrated I was. And how mad I was. And of course I asked him the questions, “Are you there? Do you hear me??!” I’d like to say this interaction went a little smoother but it didn’t, and just getting it all out there satisfied my tempter tantrum and I went on my way.

Fast forward to Sunday morning and I opened up the New Testament (which I started reading at the beginning of this year) and happened to be in 1 Corinthians chapter 10. As I read verse 13, it felt like it was written specifically for me,

“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.”

I’ve heard many varieties of the phrase “God won’t give you more than you can handle” in my life and as a naive youngster it sounded good and I hands down believed it. That is, until I got older and started going through some really difficult trials.

Unfortunately many people leave that phrase at that (and forget the most important part that follows in the above verse) and fall under the dangerous misconception that somehow we will be spared from going through difficult things because God loves us. Or that when we go through difficult trials, it’s a result of God not keeping his promises. Or that God won’t let us experience anything beyond our own personal ability to cope with.

We will go through excruciating experiences in this life that will be more than we can handle on our own and they will have the potential to break us. BUT, God has promised that he will “with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” He never said we wouldn’t go through hard times that would put us to the limit. Going through hard times is the nature of this earthly life. But what he did say is he would make a way for us to escape.

What is the way? Our escape and salvation is through Jesus Christ. Only a couple verses later in 1 Corinthians 10, Paul mentions the sacrament, and that is how we make our escape. It is through the enabling power of Jesus Christ. It is through making covenants with Christ, so we can draw from his power. We can’t handle the trials of this life on our own. We will experience things that will have the power to destroy us. But Jesus Christ’s enabling power is greater.

When we partner with the Savior, our efforts combined with his infinite power are enough to conquer any trial, heartache, or abuse we go through. When we keep our commitments to him and do all we can (which I absolutely believe includes utilizing all the medical or scientific resources available to us), he will make up the difference if we let him. His virtue is all encompassing and all powerful. We can literally do all things through Christ.

I’m grateful for that gentle reminder from my Father in Heaven this weekend.

If you want to learn more about drawing the enabling power of Jesus Christ into your life, read this fantastic article by a modern day apostle HERE.

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