More Than I Can Handle


Rachel Baker

Key Scripture: Jonah 1:7-16

Have you ever heard the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle?” In many circles this little saying has become a bit of a “Christian-idiom.” So much so, that we’ve started to really believe it, haven’t we?

When difficulty comes our way, we struggle to see the goodness or sovereignty of God. “Why God,” we cry out, “have you allowed this difficulty in my life? Why have you asked me to do hard things and love hard people? Why are you allowing suffering? And why are you giving me more than I can bear?” 

In my own life, I feel that I’ve had more than my fair share of difficult moments, moments in which I’ve shouted at the skies, “why God?” It took me a long time to understand that I had gotten the wrong idea about God, and about what he might allow in our lives. I had to correct my thinking and understand that in this life the possibility of trouble might be around every corner. Jesus himself told his followers that “in this world we would have trouble.”—John 16:33 

Our Bibles are full of stories of people being asked to do hard things that would most likely cause them suffering. Elijah had to call out the prophets of ba’al and consequently ended up hiding in a cave asking for death. Esther had to face the king and beg for the lives of her people, this very act could have cost her own life. David, when given the opportunity to assassinate Saul restrained himself because Saul was God’s anointed, this act of restraint prolonged his exile. The followers of Jesus experienced all levels of suffering from the stoning of Stephen to the upside down crucifixion of Peter. I’d say that the followers of God have a strong history of being given more than they can handle. 

I assume that Jonah felt that God was giving him an assignment that was “more than he could handle” in more ways than one. Could Jonah safely travel to Nineveh and preach against their wickedness? Sure, but the act of preaching against a city known for its wickedness would have all sorts of ramifications. 

And yet, God asks Jonah to do something that was “more than he could handle.” A look at Jonah 1:7, shows Jonah’s resistance to obedience unfold, and how his failure to obey affects those around him. In our own life it may be fair to assess the hard things we’ve experienced, specifically the hard things God has called us to do and determine if we are trying to do them in our own strength or if we are allowing God to move through us. When I think about my own hard seasons, and the hard things that God has put in front of me, I can now clearly see his hand of comfort, grace and strength in all of it. 

God is going to allow difficulty in our lives. I dare to say that our lives may be even more difficult because we follow God, but we need to land on this truth: God will never give us more than He can handle, and he can handle this whole world. 

Steps of Faith: Lord Jesus, help me to respond to situations that feel outside of my capability with your grace, your power, and your love. Jesus, please give me the eyes to see what you are working and weaving together for your glory. Help my heart to align with yours and please forgive me of my shortcomings. I love you Lord and am so thankful to be loved by you. 

Deeper Walk Scripture: Joshua 1:9, Psalm 56:3-4, Isaiah 12:2

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