By Lisa Copen:
Why is life so hard?
Over and over I have heard the saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” But what about the pain. . . the grief. . . the depression. . . the darkness? It is more than we can handle. Much more. There are days that we wonder, is life worth living if we have to get up every day and fight to be strong?
We look enviously at others who seem to not struggle and wonder why God seems to bless those that can handle so little, and curse those of us who are so strong.
As I have dealt with the physical and emotional losses since my twenties when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I have heard this cliche answer from the stranger at the store to my pastor who was grasping to instill encouragement at my hospital bedside.
Have you noticed how people ask, “So, how are you?” and no matter how badly things are, and how honest you may be with them, their answer is, “Well, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”? In other words, buck up! Hang in there! Find something to get your mind off of it. Get out of the house. Don’t worry because God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.
It feels like they are saying, “Obviously you aren’t handling life’s challenges nearly as well as I am.”
Let me tell you something that may come as a surprise. God does give us more than we can handle. Every day He may place us in the position where the pain is too much to bear. Why? Because we were never meant to do this life without Him! He gives you more than you can handle–but not how much you and He–together–can handle.
Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” And Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we were not created to do this life on our own. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We do not have to be strong on our own.
There will be days when you may wake up and think, I can’t do this. I cannot keep living this way. Why is life worth living if I can’t meet the expectations of others or even myself? I cannot figure out how to get rid of this darkness that haunts me.
There are no simple answers, except to speak to God about it. You were designed to need to turn to Him a million times a day. God does give you more than you can handle because you were never meant to handle it.
In the video below, vocal artist Matthew West, speaks to a young girl who has experienced 13 surgeries due to one car accident. Her mom tried to encourage her by telling her God wouldn’t give her more than she could handle. Her response–and her journey–became the inspiration for song, “Strong Enough,” which is also included in the video.
Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.
On days you are wondering Why is life so hard? visit Finding God Daily. There you will find stories from many who have overcome great obstacles with God’s help.