I have often taken comfort in the popular phrase “God never gives you more than you can handle.” But what happens when we feel like we truly are given more than we can handle, that we are at the breaking point?
I felt that way not long ago, when my 17-month-old refused to sleep almost all night. I had just finished working a little side job and was so relieved my head could finally hit the pillow, until I heard him cry. Two hours later he was still restless and fussy. Being pregnant, I was done. I had had enough. I woke up my husband who had been ill all day, to help me out since I had a big day at work the following day. He tried everything he could think of and eventually brought him downstairs so he could see it was nighttime and no one was up playing.
Finally, our little guy crawled up on his daddy’s chest and surrendered to sleep around 1:00 AM. What kills me is we have no idea what was wrong. We gave him milk, medicine, checked his diaper, yet still he wouldn’t sleep. What is wrong with you, child? How can mommy make it all better? I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong! I felt so powerless, so useless, so frustrated and so, so, tired.
I’m sure we have all reached the breaking point at some time in our lives. We feel like we need to get out of Dodge, like we are going to go crazy if something doesn’t give, like we just want to scream because life has spun completely out of control … but then we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Both my husband and I were able to get some decent sleep the following night, and our willful little one looked adorable to us once again.
As I often attempt to do throughout this roller coaster called life, I sought to relate this experience to my relationship with God and discover what He might want me to learn from it. Why does He push us to the limit sometimes? Or as mommas, what seems like all the time! At certain moments I even tire of recalling St. Therese who says that this is how God treats His closest friends. Does He simply wish to forge greater resilience in me? Does He not care about how tired I am? I mean, He knows what’s wrong, so why doesn’t He fix it? Where are you when I need you, God?
And out of nowhere comes my answer. I have cried out to God. These breaking points are opportunities for my heart to turn back to Him. In the heat of the moment I am given a choice. I can either throw a tantrum, cry “woe is me” and swear, or I can lift my gaze to the Almighty. I can surrender these sufferings at the foot of the cross. I can offer up the hours of sleeplessness for someone else suffering much greater than I. I can unite my soul in prayer to God. Because in the end, I am never more than He can handle.
Copyright 2018 Tami Urcia