When God Gives You More than You Can Handle

“Sixteen dogs is more than one person can handle,” I told God at the wee hours of the morning. I love spending time with Him in the early hours before the day begins and the 16 mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs in my care start needing me.

God’s response was terse. He spoke these words into my heart. “It is more than one person can handle.”

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Sigh. Relief. God had agreed with me.

Not so fast.

“But you are not one person,” I heard Him speak further into my heart.

Of course I am. One good look in the mirror is proof enough. I am one, tired from working extremely hard at my calling and not getting enough sleep for months, woman.

But God was not through. He spoke the rest of what He had to say into my heart.

“You have me,” He finished.

Leave it to God. Terse but true. Only God can say absolutely everything in so few words. He always gets to the point. And behind what seemed to be the hardness of His Words, is love. For He is ever loving, even when He is chastening. In fact, His chastening comes from love.

Deep sigh. God is right. He always is. Sixteen dogs are just a little part of my ministry. And with no staff or regular volunteers, I have my work cut out for me. But the truth is exactly what God said. I am not alone. And God may have given me more than I believe I can handle, but the reality is that He has a purpose in this. And His purpose, I believe, is not merely to use me for His glory as I strive to fulfill my mission to share the Gospel while ministering the Lord’s love to a world in need.

I believe part of the purpose in all this is to give me more than I can handle. I know some will be quick to disagree. Because there has been this idea circulating around for ages it seems. This idea that God never gives us more than we can handle. But I beg to differ.

I, personally, believe God does give us more than we can handle in our own flesh. More than we can handle in our own strength. More than we can handle by ourselves. He has, as the Bible says, with what He gives us also given us a way of escape. And I believe that way of escape is Christ.

I believe He sometimes gives us more than we can handle so that we look to Him. So that we put our trust in Him. So we seek Him. So we understand we were not created to live in our strength. We were created to rely on Him. We were not created to be prideful. He wants us to be humble.

And I don’t know about anyone else, but I need these constant reminders that the life of following Christ is not about me. It’s about Him. It’s about God’s love, His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His hope, trusting in Him, believing in Him, depending on Him, walking with Him, honoring Him, bowing down to Him, adoring Him, bringing Him praise, Him, Him, Him. Following Christ is about the Lord.

And when God gives me more than I can handle, I need to remember that I cannot handle it when I am walking according to my own human strength. I need to put my reliance on Him. And when I remember that Christ is my escape, and that my strength is in God, I can in fact handle what I could not handle before.

If God had given me two dogs and a little writing to do once in a while, a big staff, a huge amount of money, a huge board of directors that does most of the work, and very little responsibility, I am quite sure I would be doing what I did for years of my life. I would be depending on myself, and, more than likely, I would be depending on others. But God has given me more than I can handle alone, and more than even I believe I could handle with lots of human support. He has given me what I can handle when I look to Him.

A loved one used to laugh at me because I managed to get an entire couch up a steep flight of outdoor stairs without another person or two to help me.

“How did you do that?” he wondered.

The answer was simple.

“Me and Jesus,” I said.

And that’s exactly right. What I cannot do on my own, I can do in Christ. Not for me. But for the Lord. Not so I can brag about what I do. But so I can give Him glory for what He has done, and, most importantly, for who the Lord is.

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 

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