In my brief stint at the hospital, I’ve heard it said by patients in a variety of situations that “God never gives us more than we can handle.” In the moment, when someone’s loved one has just died or they are in terrible pain, I tend to be affirming of this view. Their faith is clearly carrying them through in their time of struggle and it’s not my place to interfere with that. However, I personally feel that, sometimes, God does give us more than we can handle, and I believe we actually come away stronger for it.
By overwhelming us, knocking us down, God can show us that we aren’t alone as we are forced to rely on Him or others to help pull us back up. Having more on our plate than we can handle reminds us that we don’t actually have to handle it all on our own. It reminds us that we have someone, in God and in our brothers and sisters in Christ, who can help to bear our burdens and give us strength for the journey. We are forced to recognize the importance of coming together as a community and supporting one another. In essence, we are reminded that we always have a shoulder to cry on. We are reminded of God’s never ending love, a love which never abandons us. As the Psalmist wrote, He will be with us even in “the valley of the shadow of death.” Or, as a more modern Psalmist (George Strait, not quite a Saint, but, hey, neither was David sometimes) put it:
Let me tell you a secret, about a father’s love.
A secret that my daddy said was just between us,
You see, daddies don’t just love their children every now and then
It’s a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen.
(If you know me, you shouldn’t be surprised in the least that I found a way to work George Strait into this.)
Anyway, I feel that this paternalistic (or maternalistic, but let’s not get into that just now) aspect is the whole point.
In the best of times, in the worst of times, when it all becomes too much to handle, God will love, guide, and support his children.
No matter what.
It’s a love without end.