“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Matthew 26:39
“God never gives us more than we can handle.” These are words often spoken in a time of great loss or sorrow. Perhaps you’ve even received them when your world seemed to be crashing around you. And although they were given with good intention and meant to encourage, they instead leave you feeling empty and weak. “Why am I not able to handle this situation?” “Why has God given me this burden?” My dear friend who lost her father earlier this year spoke of pain that was so great she could hardly eat, sleep, or even breathe. Many of you may know that feeling all too well yourselves. She knew her grief was too much for her and that she desperately needed God to hold her tight.
The verse that some use to support the statement “God never gives us more than we can handle” is 1 Corinthians 10:13. It goes on to say, “When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (NIV). We must keep in mind the context here. This verse speaks of temptation, not suffering. We can choose the way out of temptation, but we can’t choose a way out of suffering. Jesus Himself wanted a way out of His impending suffering when He prayed, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. . . . O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me” (Matt. 26:38-39). Yet He willingly endured the physical pain and eventual death on a cross to pay the ultimate price for our sin and freely provide our salvation.
We can see that even Jesus felt apprehension and fear towards God’s plan. It was these feelings that truly depicted His humanity. So it is okay to question your strife and worry about your next steps after a tragedy. But when life seems too much to bear, that’s when we need to throw ourselves on God’s mercy and He holds on to us. He is big enough to become our refuge and strength if we only ask.