When God Gives You More Than You Can Handle

"When God gives you more than you can handle" by Amanda Torres (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2017 Amanda Torres. All rights reserved.

New death reopens unhealed wounds. The coarsest salt. There is a heaviness on my heart. It is where I bury my sorrows when I don’t know how, or just don’t want to live with them. The heaviness is a macabre comfort to me. Sometimes I feel like the heaviness is the presence of God. Sometimes I am not sure if it isn’t just the sorrows that I have locked away. It is bursting at the seams.

I keep pushing it deeper. I don’t have the fortitude to face the sorrows head-on. As if I can just bring them up from the depths of my soul when I am ready. On my own time. As if I will ever be ready. As if holding them inside isn’t poisoning me.

How do you explain that you’re crumbling inside because your Gramma died … five years ago? Or your brother died last year? Or your Papaman died last week, even though you have not seen him since you were 6?

Each loss burns new holes in my heart, and I fill them in with sorrows. Packed tight with anguish. So tight my heart hardens. I know I have to pull the sorrows out, and lay them at the foot of the cross. But opening old, festered wounds hurts. And, I still don’t have the fortitude. Not to hold together a heart with that many holes.

Maybe I am not supposed to hold it together on my own?

I know I am supposed to lay it all at the foot of the cross. I know it in my head, and I think I know if in my heart. But, I know it in an abstract, big picture kind of way. I need the concrete, detailed steps. I need someone to hold my hand. To walk me through it.

Maybe I am not meant to walk on my own?

I understand that I need to lay my sorrows at the foot of the cross in the same way that I understand electricity. I know that when I flip a switch the light will come on, because of electricity. And some wires. But, I don’t really understand.

Maybe I am not meant to understand?

Maybe we aren’t meant to understand fully. Maybe we aren’t meant to walk alone. Maybe we aren’t meant to hold it together on our own. You know how well-meaning people tell you that God never gives you more than you can handle? Humbly, I’d like to challenge that notion.

God does give us more than we can handle, and He does so on purpose.

He does so that we might never think we are ever doing anything of our own merits. He gives us more than we can handle because there is nothing that He can’t handle. And in Him do we give over our sorrows, our joys, our struggles, our triumphs, our whole hearts, and our whole lives. In Him do we place our trust. And in Him do we find hope and peace.

Copyright 2017 Amanda Torres
Originally published at In Earthen Vessels


About Author

Amanda Torres is a Catholic convert, wife, and working mom from St Paul, MN. She is making great use of her Bachelor's Degree in History and Anthropology as a Management Analyst for the State of Minnesota. When she is not busy trying to get her husband, her rambunctious 7 year-old, and toddler twins into Heaven she enjoys reading, writing, and drinking coffee with entirely too much creamer. Amanda also occasionally blogs at In Earthen Vessels: HoldThisTreasureInEarthenVessels.wordpress.com


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. “Rely not on your own understanding.” I think that’s really important. my Grandpa used to say “there’s nothing Jesus and I can’t do together.” And it’s true, but yes, we are pushed beyond comfort sometimes I think so we remember this – that we need Jesus to do anything at all. May God continue to bless you and help you to feel His Presence on your journey & peace be with you! -Kaitlyn

  2. I agree with Kaitlyn – beautiful. Thank you for your post. I enjoyed seeing glimpses into your deep thinking about this process. At a funeral last week I appreciated my priest’s reminder that sometimes deaths are hard to digest but that God’s ways are mysterious. I found comfort in the reminder for all contexts of life where it is hard to process. I like how you captured that in those moments we are provided with opportunities to lean into God with faith and increased trust. It helps us to realize how much we need him. I like how you were able to put a twist on a common saying to prompt reflection.

  3. Yes, thank you for sharing such beautiful and reflective thoughts on this subject!

    After going through the loss of my dad and grief, I realize how much I really dislike that phrase (he won’t give you more than you can handle). Now, I see it more like – God will help you handle what you think you can’t.
    I spent so much time and energy trying to understand they why’s but like you said, I finally arrived at the realization that we can’t understand it all – not fully anyway and not now. What we do need to know is that He is WITH US even when we think we can’t handle it, He can.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.