More than once I have encountered people who are quite uncomfortable … no, that’s not quite accurate. They are somewhat offended by the use of the phrase “God only gives you what you can handle”. I admit, this little saying has rolled off of my tongue now and again at a few of my workshops, and the first time it seemed to upset a listener, I was a bit surprised. I had always interpreted the phrase as words of encouragement; a promise that no matter how bad it seems, there’s light on the other side and acknowledgement that you can get there. Yesterday, after the “Challenge and Change: Holy Anyway” workshop at Saint Paul of the Cross Monastery Retreat Center, during question and answer time, the same subject again was brought up, but this time, a few of the retreat attendees offered a solution that I wanted to pass along to those of you who may have experienced a similar response when using that particular phrase.
“God never gives you more than you can handle with His help“. The addition of three little words made all of the difference in the world to these few listeners. With His help. For me, I had always thought that this was implied in the shorter statement, but I am learning that for many, perhaps it is not. I can’t pretend that I completely understand, but I am willing to try and I am certainly empathetic and always happy to learn from those that I speak with. So I am learning. I take it all in and try to be mindful that I cannot always know or understand what others have been through, but I am always grateful when they are willing to share with me their thoughts, feelings, impressions, and stories. So thank you ladies for all of your questions, all of your stories, your explanations, and your positive energy. You make doing what I do so rewarding.