I came across this thought a while ago and have been thinking about it a LOT. The more I’ve pondered, the more I began to agree. I can think of many specific experiences in my life where I was convinced I’d received more than I could handle. And I learned early that the sooner I turned to my Heavenly Father for Heavenly Help, the sooner I was able to handle the seemingly impossible things which came along. I love the way Mother Teresa (she was always a Saint) expressed this:
When we’re faced with challenges – with experiences which seem impossible to handle – we know where to turn. Most of us could probably ask for priesthood blessings more than we do. Sometimes perhaps we have a feeling that “oh, I can handle this … I should probably get as few blessings as possible. I can take care of this on my own.” Uh… that might not be the best way to handle challenges in our days and lives. It sounds and feels a bit more like pride than humility.
There are lessons to be learned from Job – from his grief and suffering. There is a divine purpose in the things we face in life. We need enough trust in God that we don’t let any suffering or discouragement cause bitterness. This is like poison to our soul. It is possible to handle sorrow, suffering, loneliness, fear, discouragement and so on in a positive way – with faith and trust. We are being tested. And our reaction to all that comes our way is an indication of how strong and deep our faith and trust are.
I don’t know if I’ve expressed any of this very well. We might ask more often things like “What is my Heavenly Father trying to teach me right now?” “What am I to learn about myself through this experience?” “Have I ignored any promptings as to how I should respond to this situation?” There have been many times in my long-and-getting-longer life when I’ve felt I had reached the absolute outer limits of my abilities… and I know there are times when I’ve waited too long to plead for Help.
I hope this post might help you (and mee too) as we face some challenging times as the days and years go by. This is food for thought, and I’ve been pondering it for several days, and am still not sure if I’ve expressed my thoughts adequately. Oh well. If it helps even one person to know that it’s TRUE that we won’t be given more than we – with Heavenly Help – can handle! We can always count on this Help as we respond to the invitation to “Come unto Christ.” He can help us become increasingly perfect: whole, complete, pure, holy). He can help us handle anything.
I found this little poem which reminds me of my childhood. I was 9 years old when this poem appeared in the Improvement Era in 1949. It is called HANDS and was written by Ora Pate Stewart.
I DO NOT ask for sculptured ivory hands Whose lily-whiteness softens to the touch-
Though beauty, for itself, is much desired. The beauty I desire is not so much
Of scented lily cups. My hands will know The moist warm feel of loamy, furrowed earth,
And more – the hard round handle of the hoe. But make them soft enough to dry the cheeks
Where little tears are spilled; and skilled to mend Where overalls, and hearts, and lives are torn;
And on occasion, strengthen them to lend An ivory firmness when the cause is right.
But O toward the ending of the day, Give them the suppleness to fold and pray.
This is beautiful, just what I needed today!
Dear MEE, this is just what I needed this morning! Thank you! I have that quote, “God doesn’t give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given” on a plaque in my living room. I need to read it more often and let Him help me at times like this. Love you MEE
LOVE this MEE! Just what I needed to read today. 🙂
Thank you so much for this thoughtful reminder. I need to read this every day. This is one of those times when I’m standing too near to the outside edge of the circle of light; the darkness beyond is way too close for my comfort. But I no longer think that I’m being punished. I suppose (unwillingly) that I’m just being trusted.
I REALLY needed this today so thank you for sharing your thoughts. It helps.
So very, very true! 🙂
I can see that my comment sounds negative. I didn’t mean it that way, however. I’ve tried to delete it, but can’t. So sorry.
I love your thoughts here. “God won’t give you more than you can handle” isn’t even scriptural! I know lots of times he’s given me more than I “thought” I could handle, but somehow I’ve survived am still here trying.
With your permission, may I use this for a family home evening lesson? There is a group of five sisters in my ward and the ward next to us. This is my week to have it at my house, abd this so impressed me I would like to sahre it.
Hope to see you soon for lunch
Marie Anderson Talbot
Of course! Have a wonderful time. Love, mee
Sister Edmunds – you taught me in the MTC and many of those lessons have blessed my life in the years since. I’m wondering where I could find the thought you gave us about us becoming a castle? It requires having our plumbing ripped out and walls torn out – the idea is that God changes us, but it isn’t always easy. Do you remember it?
This is the quote I think you’re looking for: C.S. LEWIS “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity