I think with midterm season at its peak, we can all identify with feeling overwhelmed. Not only are there mounds of papers to write and weeks of material to study, but life outside of academics can get messy, too. Relationships with friends, family, and significant others can be strained. Maybe even your relationship with God is neglected – “I don’t have time to go to church; I have a five page paper due Monday morning!” “I could get up early for a morning devotion, but I really need my sleep” and so on and so forth. Sometimes it just seems like it all piles up and there is no relief. Sometimes it’s all overwhelming.
But hey, I have good news – it’s supposed to be like that!
I hear a lot of people say things like, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” It’s a nice thought, it really is. It’s comforting. It can be strengthening, even. But it’s entirely untrue.
Take a look at 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” That word “tempted” in Greek is πειρασμῷ (peirasmos). Another meaning of the word is “trial” (such as in Luke 22:28). So now, let’s re-read 1 Corinthians 10:13, but this time, substitute the word “tempted” or “temptation” with “trial” or “tried.”
The result is this: “No trial has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tried beyond what you can bear. But when you are tried, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Wow. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty powerful. It also seems like those people who claim that God won’t give us more than we can handle are right.
Let me propose a new idea. God does give us more than we can handle. He purposefully overwhelms us. But why would a loving God do that to us?
He wants us to turn to Him.
God overwhelms us so that we turn to Him and completely trust Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” We are weak. We easily become overwhelmed by the world. God uses this weakness so that He will be glorified. When we are weak, when we confess, “God, I don’t know what to do. I am completely overwhelmed. I can’t handle this on my own,” God takes that weakness and works through us. He wants us to see that He is in control. He wants us to rely on Him completely. God desires to do everything for us! He wants us to see that He completely provides and takes care of us! With God, nothing is too much for us because we don’t take care of ourselves, God takes care of us completely. The way of escape from our trials is God.
Don’t let your weakness get in the way of your relationship with God. Instead, let it be what it is – an opportunity for God to show you that He is with you always and provides for you completely. Put your trust in God and then sit back and watch how He works.