[Editor's Note: This post was featured yesterday but was accidentally taken down due to a programming malfunction. Here it is again!]
Christians mean well. Really we do. But as the saying goes: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Christian rhetoric is a funny thing. People who know the "lingo" can omit certain words and entire phrases without the meaning of the phrase being lost to other insiders. Consequently, outsiders who don't know the lingo pick up on abridged Bible verses, phrases and catchy rhymes without knowing the full meaning behind them.
One of the biggest examples of fallacious Christian rhetoric is the saying: "God will never put you through anything that you can't handle." This is the biggest lie told on the Christian God and it turns people away from the faith. Contrary to popular and erroneous opinion, God does allow us to experience things that we can't handle. But the real question is why?
Before I started exploring a personal relationship with God, I had completely false and incomplete notions of who He was. To me, God was distant and an uninvolved God. God was a Man who sat back and watched injustice take place without ever correcting it. As I've come to know God more intimately, I realize that this is in fact a lie. God and I agree that I didn't have to go through so many things. God and I agree that my life was far too difficult at certain points. God and I agree that certain events never should have taken place.
God allows us to experience intense trials and tribulations so that we come to know Him better. For example, I know God as my Provider because He keeps my bills paid. I pay my tithes and even though my income is lower than before, I seem to always have more than enough to pay every bill off. I know that God is a Redeemer and a Restorer because of the shattered parts of my life that He has put back together. I know that God is a Healer of the Broken Heart and a Comfort to the Lonely.
I only know these definitions of God because of my intense trials and tribulations that I've endured. There were times that I felt as if I couldn't even get out of bed from debilitating depression. There have been days that I have been plagued by fear and anxiety. I lost the weight to prove it too. The weight is packing back on because I've humbled myself and realized that God is in control.
For a majority of my 23 years, I have endured things that I can't handle. God has allowed those things to happen so that I call out to only Him for help. If God never allowed circumstances to overwhelm us, we would falsely believe that we were godlike. We would assume that we could handle life on our own. In sum, we wouldn't really need an all-powerful and all-knowing God.
People need to be careful when they say "God never puts you through anything that you can't handle." We should exchange this phrase for "God never puts us through anything that we can't handle without Him." The latter is the more accurate and complete truth about God. God absolutely tests our faith. He tests our hearts to see if we are truly devoted to Him. Expect that you will go through numerous trials that you can't handle without Him. Expect that He will show up on time and take the lead of the show. Have you ever said that "God never puts you through anything that you can't handle?" Do you think differently about the phrase? How have you come to know God more deeply through your trials?