Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Than I Can Handle

"He won't give you more than you can handle, Tricia."

People mean well. They mean to tell me that God is faithful, he will walk beside me, and this will not take me down - that I am equipped for this journey.

But I beg to differ.

I can't handle this. I can't handle a single day of it. I am not equipped.

And just as I seem to ascend from one valley of this journey, I find myself on the precipice of another. And I cannot handle this.

And there is no place in the Bible where he promises not to give more than I can handle.

He says he is faithful. He says he is the I Am. He promises not to forsake me. He says his compassions never fail, his mercies are new every morning. He says that when I am faced with temptation, he will offer a way out.

But he never says he'll not give me more than I can handle.

Because the truth is, it's in this horrific, deep, tragic place, in the drowning depths of my heart's deepest ocean, that only he can handle it.

Then he is glorified, because only he can handle this.

I cannot. I assure you. I cannot handle this.

But I trust that he can. I trust that he is faithful, his compassions never end, his mercies are new, he sees me, and he will deliver me.

But I cannot handle this. Cannot.


He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

he drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

from my foes who were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

but the Lord was my support.

He brought me out into a spacious place;

he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16-19


Lisa Smith said...

Your post resonates within me. I too am going from one valley to the next with only brief stops on a high point. He is faithful. He will not let us just drowned. Thank you for not hiding the truth, not being afraid to write the hard stuff...and for sharing it all with us.

Dayle said...

Praying here.

Carrie said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile, and I don't comment much, just pray and read.
Your post today is something that I have thought about often, and have discussed with others. I'm not on your journey, but we're raising a medically fragile special needs child, and I can't stand it when people say that. This is more than we can handle - it is, it's not humanly possible to handle it, but thankfully God can handle it - and I'm so glad that He can. He through our weakness is strong!! Praise Jesus. He will make beauty from the ashes, He will give us gladness instead of mourning. One step at a time, one day at a time. Praying for you.

Penny said...

He is the only one that can handle your grief. In the past seven years, I've watched my stepmom bury both her sons (her only children, four years apart, both only 41) and wondered how she'd survive~ how she'd go on with her life~ ever be happy again. She has, but ONLY by His grace and mercy. No, she is not happy every day. Every holiday, birthday, anniversaries of their deaths brings her sorrow to the forefront~ fresh tears flow and her heart breaks all over again. But God is faithful. He is in control. He gives and takes away. The fifth anniversary of her oldest son's death, his daughter called to tell her that she would be a great-grandmother. Joy does come. It's still not easy for her and she is not "handling" it, but trusting The One that can. It's all you can do. He will hold you and your precious little boys and He will make a way out of your grief and darkness. Time after time. God bless you, Tricia.

Katy said...

Amen, amen, amen.

Stephanie said...

Dear Friend,
Thank you for sharing your insight and feelings from the eye of this storm. Your posts have really helped me to better understand what greiving is. You give it a face and a voice.

Hugs and prayers,

P.S. Psalm 18 is my FAVORITE of all passages! I can't help but sing, "Here I Come To Save the Day!" when I read it. :)

Kay Day said...

Amen. One of my pet peeves is that statement, quoted as if it's scripture. It is not.
But God will never fail us. He holds us. He can handle it all!

Mrs. MK said...

oh rant rant rant!!! I can't tolerate this assumes that those who grieve and suffer have something "extra" that makes them handle it.

Still, always praying for you.


You know those submarine movies which make a point of showing, early on, the red line on the pressure gauge showing the depth beyond which the ship cannot go without being crushed? Then the ship gets to sea, things go terribly wrong, and the ship starts sinking and can't stop. Down, down, down-- The hull creaks from the pressure, rivets pop, water spurts through the cracks. The crew is frozen, terrified, eyes glued to that pressure gauge.

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer we sank to depths, one after another, below that line. We were taken to pressures greater than we were designed to go. The hull groaned, rivets were popping, water was spurting through the cracks. We thought any minute we would implode. But we didn't. I constantly cried out to the Lord, arguing with Him: "You PROMISED You would not give us more than we can handle--but THIS IS MORE! This is TOO MUCH." Yet, along with more stress, as the song says, He added more grace, strength equal to the added pressure. He made a way where there was no way. We were far beyond the red line which indicated we should have been destroyed, yet to our amazement we were still alive. We weren't crushed! We were surviving (barely, it felt) what was not survivable.

Then he died.

And still God's grace held--and is holding--me.

Yes, that verse IS in the Bible, Tricia (I Cor. 10:13). It's one of the verses with a glorious "but God" in it: "No temptation (test) has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. BUT GOD is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it." For "Instead--" you can almost read, "Because--"

It means exactly what you said, Tricia. You can't do this--and yet you ARE doing it. Because He is in you--and He can.

Noel said...

Oh, I just want to wrap you up and protect you from people saying the wrong thing. It's hard enough that we have to deal with this without having to be so gracious to others, too. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with that. If you would like me to come throw some punches, please let me know.

I remember focusing so much on God's grace in the beginning...He promises that his grace is SUFFICIENT. Sometimes it feels like that's not really saying alot. Most of the time we bask in the extravagance of his grace, and we get used to that, then when we back off and it's just sufficient, it's like "Wait a second!" And really, I suppose I deserve NO grace, so anything he gives me is actually extravagant, but when you're grieving it's just more difficult to see it.

Cristi said...

Well said! And I agree

Majorsfam said...

You're right. You can't! And I'm so glad you know the only one equipped to handle this. As much as I hate to give you a word of comfort (cos really, who am I to even begin to assume anything I say might help), I'm going to. There is no valley so deep He can't get to you. You can never fall deep enough that He can't reach you. Someone told me this when I was going through a tough time (though nothing in comparison to the valley you are in). I would hit the floor and just sob.... "God, You're the only one that can reach me, down deep this low. HOLD ME, COS I CAN'T DO THIS." Praying you'll feel His arms, in the deepest of your valleys!

joeburnham said...

A mutual connection pointed me to your post after reading one of mine by the same title. Thanks for your thoughts. If you're interested, here are mine: