I was watching an episode of “The Boys” last week, when Starlight’s Mom says to her, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” And, I had to press pause.
“God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” Have you ever heard someone say that to someone else in a time of tragedy, loss, or some other horrible situation? Is that supposed to be comforting or uplifting?
It’s not. But, is this phrase true?
Well … it’s taken way out of context and the words are twisted. It’s like quoting that line from Casablanca, “Play it again, Sam.” It was never said. Not once. It doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t stop anyone from saying it and believing Bogart actually said those words. He didn’t.
As it turns out … the Apostle, Paul was telling the Corinthians that God will help you when you are tempted. Corinth was a cosmopolitan town and temptation was everywhere, so he was saying that temptation tests our resolve, our character, and faith. Lean on God’s strength to get you through.
Paul is NOT talking about adversity, loss, pain, hardship, or suffering. He’s talking about temptation and sin. He’s also NOT saying that God is making bad things happen to us.
What kind of God would have us lose a loved one, our home to fire, a limb, or our job. Divorce, suicide, addiction, and so on? Giving so much and more to handle to this person and that person out of eight-billion, while so many others go unscathed.
That’s not love. That’s torture. “God’s will”? No, I don’t think so.
We will face adversity and virtually insurmountable circumstances, but God, the Universe, Karma, or whatever/whomever we refer to as “God”, is not giving us more, less, or anything to “handle”.
To paraphrase a story from Adam Hamilton, a woman met with her therapist and in conversation said, “God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle” and her therapist responded, “Are you kidding me? My profession consists of helping just such people.” And he reminded the woman that she was here with him for difficulties she was facing that were more than she could handle. Oops. She was angry at first, but then realized he was right.
Tragedy, loss, depression, suicide, and addiction are fucking tough. No one should have to go through that, but if they do, we should not let them deal with it alone. Please reach out; it’s too much for one to handle.
“God”, the Universe, or whatever it is we put our faith in, is not just a part of us, we are it and it is us. We are all built from the same material and energy. Most of us anyway. There are a few in which I’m not so sure about.
We have the love, light, and energy within ourselves to help others and them us. No judgement; just kindness. “God” is within us and we are each other.
Too much? I get it. Let’s talk about temptation.
Wherever temptation falls on a scale and in whatever form, “God” isn’t doing that either. It’s just there. Whether it’s immoral, illegal, unhealthy, against our own code, or just wrong; maybe we’re on a diet; it could be anything. But, it’s our burden to overcome. As Paul said, it tests us.
When temptation is right there; heart is beating heavy, eyes are dilated, and we’re a bit shaky inside. When we can feel it, see it, smell it, and taste it, taking a deep breath ain’t gonna cut it. “Just take a deep breath.” “Go for a walk.” “A day at the spa will fix you up.” “Have you tried meditation?” “Prayers.”
Yeah; um … no.
Our faith, our code, our way of being; the soul of the person we want to be and claim we are, must be strong within us to get us through. Sometimes it just doesn’t. It’s too much!
Dude … it’s just a cupcake. Oh … right. Enjoy.
From what I understand, we’re human and therefore, flawed. Maybe the universe is too, for that matter. I truly don’t know. That’s not an excuse to go crazy, but we will fail, stumble, and fall. The thing is though, we keep getting back up.
We humans are fucked up in so many ways, but dammit, we face a lot of shit. We really, really try and after so many thousands of years, we keep trying. Most of us are inherently good, but bad shit happens. And we create a lot of that bad shit ourselves too; we always have. Did I mention, we’re fucked up?
But, we’re still trying. We’re a hell of a species, aren’t we? Most of us are, anyway. It’s an incredible existence.
Cheers to 98% of my 8-billion brothers and sisters. We are one.
Photo by Adrian Moise on Unsplash