She was holding up the best she could. Her husband was in intensive care and her son was leaving for the Marines. She had heard it said, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” She didn’t realize this saying wasn’t from scripture. She had heard it so often as coming from the Bible she assumed it was true. You and I have done the same thing. To believe God won’t give us more than we can bear is comforting when the whole world is closing in and we don’t know what to do next. What happens when the difficult times are more than we can take? What happens if this woman’s son, a new Marine, is killed in Afghanistan? Or if he is home on leave and is hit by a drunk driver? What happens if this woman’s husband doesn’t get better? Does that mean God gave her too much to handle?
The scripture this saying came from is 1 Corinthians 10:13. The Apostle Paul is talking to the people of Corinth about sin; the temptations to sin that come into our lives, not the difficult times we all face. Temptations and difficult times are totally different things. The New Language translation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”
A way out of sin is totally different from “more than you can bear.” We all face difficult times. At some point, we all will have great sorrow in our life. God didn’t give it to us; instead God has been with us through it all. God present in friends and family who helped her get to and from the hospital. God present in the cards, e-mails and texts offering prayers and help as her son went off to the Marines and she returned to the hospital. God present in the prayers said, God present in the laughter of a good friend telling jokes to get her mind off the pain of “what if’s.” God present.
God is faithful. He will never leave us. We don’t have to get through the hard times on our own, God walks with us, and He has gone before us to prepare the way.