God will never give you more than you can handle.
This exact phrase is not found in the Bible. Most people refer to 1 Corinthians 10:13 where Paul writes: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
(I know some of you are scratching your head because you are sure that quote about God never giving us more than what we can handle came directly from the Bible. Look for yourself.)
This is a common saying that people use in an attempt to make us feel better. For me, it does the exact opposite.
Whenever someone gave me a sympathetic look and told me God would never give me more than I could handle, it made me shut down. It did not make me feel better.
In situation after situation, I heard this phrase. When Jaycee was having a second heart surgery or a second heart ablation, I was supposed to find comfort in knowing that God knew we could all handle this. Seeing Jaycee on a ventilator for three weeks I imagine was also something God thought I could handle too. No matter what the bad circumstances, these were often the words that people chose to say to comfort me.
I grew to hate these words. I got angry at the people who said them to me. It was as if I was experiencing something painful because I was strong enough to endure it. Huh? Other times, I took this phrase to mean that my trial wasn't anything to sit around and be upset about because God knew I could handle it. Still other times, I felt this phrase was saying God allowed bad things to happen to my life because I could endure it. That's a real motivation to stop praying!
One day, I was surrounded by a few people who were ministering to me. You see watching your child have surgeries, be in respiratory distress, and have numerous tests done some of which you help hold her down for is very mentally draining. I couldn't handle it. In fact, the panic, worry, stress, and fear had such a grip on me that I was not functioning well mentally. Obviously, I couldn't handle all of these trials with my daughter's health. I needed help to get over these things I witnessed, so I set aside time for prayer with some people I trusted. Through the ministering, this phrase came up about God not giving me more than I could handle.
For the first time, I spoke up and said, "I hate when people tell me that!"
My father, who was one of the people praying for me, gave me a different perspective on this quote. He said, "If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and in a situation you can't handle, then it is not God giving it to you."
It was then that this popular quote from Christians became something I could agree with. When I'm feeling stressed about Jaycee's health, I know that God will be there to help me through my battles. He isn't the cause of the trial. He is the answer while I am walking through the trial.
So does God know what I can handle? Yes, but that doesn't mean he is the source of all the ugliness in life.
Will God give me the hope and peace to get me through the times that are difficult? Absolutely!