Exploding the Myth: God Doesn’t Give You More Than You Can Handle


You know, I don’t expect those outside the Body of Christ to have good theology-that’s like expecting me to be able to explain thermodynamics.  

Ain’t gonna happen-it’s outside my scope of understanding and practice.

I do expect those who have spent a lifetime reading Scripture, studying Sunday School lessons and listening to sermons to know better.

But many don’t.

“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” is bandied about freely among those who, if they thought about it before they said it, know it isn’t true.


Usually it’s tossed at someone going through a tough time in an effort to encourage them.

Can I just let you in on a secret?  It is NOT encouraging.  At. all. Not one bit.

Because what’s implied is that I SHOULD be able to handle this.

But I can’t.

And it lets you off the hook.  

It’s like I’m drowning and instead of diving in to rescue me, you’re giving swimming lessons from the safety of the shore.

It’d be much more helpful if you threw me a lifeline.


God routinely gives me more than I can handle.

It’s one tool He uses to turn my heart to Him.  It’s one way He helps me understand (although He knows it already)  that I absolutely cannot handle it by myself.

So instead of sending the message that I should be able to handle this-join me in the dark place, hold my hand as we walk together and help me feel God’s love through you.


presence best gift




Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

25 thoughts on “Exploding the Myth: God Doesn’t Give You More Than You Can Handle”

  1. When people tell me this, I reply, “Then God must think I’m one bad ass mother*ck*r.” He has given me WAY more than I can handle without meds and a good psychiatrist. One could argue that he sent me my shrink and the meds so I can handle it, but I will never, ever be the person I was before a 10 year period where I lost both parents, my brother (he had dementia and I was also his guardian), lost my best friend to lung cancer, my sisters to their own greed over my parents and brother’s estates, and one son after losing our oldest 15 years before. There were so many funerals during that time that my shrink forbade me to go to any that weren’t family. And just when things seem to be getting better, COVID hits. And I got melanoma, which thankfully was caught early enough that it wasn’t even really a “stage”. My husband retired and we were hoping to travel, but the restrictions from other countries were too much of a hassle. We will try again this year, since we vaxxed and boosted. So yeah, God does give you more than you can handle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes… but would love to add that God is good and only good comes from Him. He helps us through all the junk that comes in a fallen world, but He doesn’t create and give us anything that is against His nature. He only gives us good. Cancer, death, others hurting us, loss of jobs, children who are ill, you name it, all of that comes from the lord of this world who is the enemy. True freedom and peace come from truly understanding that bad never came from God in the first place. Would love to chat over coffee about this sometime!!
    The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
    Psalms 92:15

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your grace- filled comment and would love to chat about this over coffee. Perhaps we are thinking much the same thing but using different words. God is sovereign and as such, only what He allows can touch me (Job, Paul, David, Jesus). I do not think He causes harm, but He does allow it. ❤️


  3. Melanie, I just ran across your article and love the logic and thoughts posted. Thank you for sharing.
    I shattered my right leg about three years ago, requiring surgery ..2 weeks later a lady ran a stop light and hit my right door, exploding the incision open. Many infections and infusions, along with 17 surgeries on the leg later, I ended up losing it. Through all of this, God has loved me, tolerated my temper tantrums, been my pain pill, my sleeping pill, my stand up comedian, my strength and peace and joy. I feel a bit like Job. Many times I’ve curled up.in.His lap when it gets heavy. But He has always been there, even letting me feel Him curled up to me in bed. However we label it, God hasn’t left me alone for one second! The pain has been phenomenal, but I wouldn’t trade one second of pain for all the time God spent with me. He has been so sweet and precious.!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thankful the Lord is meeting you in your pain. God is faithful-even in the hard places and the sorrowful ones. May He continue to strengthen you and give you joy. ❤


  4. If I believed they premise I would have to see God as a burden stacker. The only verse I have been able to find that is even vaguely close is ” God will never let you be tempted beyond that which you can bear”. The God I know is a grace giver and mercy giver. Though I have not been promised health or wealth, I have been promised peace and joy. Since returning from the mission field in 2008 my granddaughter was shot by her husband and passed, my mother-in-law died next,then one of my two brothers, then my sister-in-law and finally my other brother committed suicide. None of this came from God, but the strength and hope and love did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent answer! I’m so very sorry for your loss and pain. May you feel the Father’s loving arms around you and may He strengthen you for this journey.


  5. Thank you again Melanie. I have read a few posts on this very thing, but that phrase just continues to get put out there. I’m thinking that most people who say it haven’t lost a child. I think we (in the “club”) all know that it is way more than we can handle – definitely on our own and, to be completely honest for me, at times even with God. I certainly know that without the hope of Heaven and reunion, I could not handle this AT ALL.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen! I agree. Child loss is awful and we certainly have been given more than we can handle on our own, and, like you say-sometimes even with God. I want to stop people not only saying it but even thinking it. It keeps them from the very help they need in Christ and from offering real help to those who are suffering. Prayers for you dear one. May we always feel the Father’s love even in this Valley.


  6. I love this analogy: “It’s like I’m drowning and instead of diving in to rescue me, you’re giving swimming lessons from the safety of the shore.”

    I think that annoying phrase has been misused so frequently that people really don’t realize that it was said in regards to temptation instead of life circumstances. I honestly came upon on an article that pointed out that very thing by happenstance! I’m so glad I did so that I don’t continue to perpetuate it’s misuse. In fact, I had opportunity just last week to share that truth with someone else just last week. I think he was relieved to hear it. It gave him the freedom to struggle because he’s not designed to be adequate without the help of the Holy Spirit.

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of misusing scripture and we often don’t realize it until it becomes deeply important to us personally; otherwise we just accept it and move on to the next thing.

    Loved this article, Melanie. You always have something of worth to share that people can meditate on instead of just swallowing like their morning coffee!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, me too. Me too. My mother spent most of my childhood apologizing for my outspokenness. I was quite the trial for a southern gentlewoman.


      2. Oh my goodness! I just can’t imagine. You are so gentle in your writing although the tongue is really hard to control. I’m far more tactful in print than speech unless I actually manage to keep my mouth shut!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this. So well said. I feel I get more than my share and somehow I am supposed to be able to handle it, this last blow has nearly done me in! Makes me feel like I am not the only one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A total misquote of 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, NIV, So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

    Is all about temptation, not about life events. Here, have a ((((hug)))).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Roger-you are right. There are lots of verses that get modified in everyday language and few have the Biblical knowledge to correct it. God doesn’t tempt us, but He tries us. Not to tell HIM anything, but to reveal our weakness to us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that’s James 1:2-12. I don’t know the why to all of this. But I know Jesus wept with Mary and Martha.. He weeps with you and for me… That’s all I need at times.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, but sadly, most of us don’t really get it until He hands us something we absolutely cannot handle on our own. I don’t think I did although I didn’t toss that phrase at people.


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