I no longer believe this statement: “God will never put more on you than you can handle.” The Bible DOES say, in 1 Corinthians, that He will never give us more temptation than we can bear, but that is a different thing altogether. I now believe, speaking in “my humble opinion”, & from MY personal experience, that sometimes God does allow us to experience circumstances in life that are “more than we can handle” – ALONE. I think that is when He wants us to turn to Him for guidance, strength, & comfort. It is when we are at our weakest, that we see His strength manifest itself in our lives. (“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Cor. 12:9-10).
As we enter this holiday season, many will be saddened by the loss of a relationship, a loved one, a pet, a job, or their health. Some, like me, may be facing the prospect of the holidays in light of multiple stressors. People around you may look strong on the outside, but may be feeling weak, vulnerable, alone, or lonely inside. The BEST gift that you can give someone at a time like that is to be the one that looks them in the eye & says, “Are you all right?”, or grasps their hand & says, “Everything is going to be okay”, or hugs them & says, “I am so sorry for your situation – how may I help you?”. Encouragement can take many forms, & often only takes a few moments of your time. In the midst of my divorce, a friend gave me a “Basket of Sunshine.” It was an inexpensive, brightly yellow colored basket tied with a fluffy yellow polka dotted ribbon filled with cheer! It contained a bottle of water & lemonade mix, with a note about “making lemonade out of lemons”, bright yellow gumballs, lemonheads candy, a packet of flower seeds, & other yellow things that went along with the “sunny” theme. I sat that basket on my kitchen table, where I could see it daily. It reminded me that, no matter how tough the day was, someone actually cared enough about me to take time from their day to make that for me.
If YOU are the one that is facing untenable circumstances this holiday season, PLEASE, do not be afraid to ask for help! Pray, & ask God for guidance. If you cannot find the voice to pray, ask friends to pray with and for you. Call a friend. Get out of the house & go – anywhere – just get out & about! Contact your pastor, or ANY pastor, if you do not have one. Chat with a friend on social media. If you have no one to turn to, call the HELP line, if needed, or go see a professional counselor. HELP Is available, you just have to be willing to put aside your pride & ask for it.
Yes, you may be facing “more than you can handle.” I have been there. Because society tells us that God will never give us more than we can bear, we are ingrained to be ashamed, embarrassed, or unwilling to admit that we could use a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. It is in our most humbled state that we will indeed see His face most clearly, & in that hour we will know that “Our help comes from the Lord …” (Psalm 121:2).
Reach out, & take the hand that is offered to you. It will make all of the difference in the world. I know, because over the past year & a half I have been blessed with the hand of friendship & the kindness of strangers alike, more times than I can count. I hope to re-pay each & every one of these gestures by paying it forward. I pray that, if you are struggling with something this holiday season, that God will send His Guardian angels to surround you, protect you, & rescue you. Keep your eyes open, for you never know in what form He will send these messengers. Let them do the job that they were sent to do, & watch for your holiday wishes to come true.