About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. I love your blog post. This morning is one of the few that I have followed a full night’s rest. Typically I am also that woman up at 2 am. I am sorry about people who attempted to help with their words, they mean well, but twist scripture to comfort their own hearts. You are so right about God! May you be given the strength today to endure and be energized with the Holy Spirit.

    • I know especially people who sometimes believe they have been “Christians” longer than I have often have said unintentionally cruel things. While if their struggles are material based all of a sudden the standard of Jesus is different.
      I am blessed to be part of a church that is small but BIG in Jesus’ love and that is His covering over me and my family! He is mighty indeed to save! Amen!

    • This was Excellent!!! He can give us grace day by day! This is why we need our loving Savior.

    • thank you–these are powerful words. Strangely, just the other day, I told my daughter that the saying, ‘God will never give you more than you can handle’ is false. (I said it crying, because I was hurting). So thank you for redefining that well used cliche. The correct words of comfort are: ‘God will never give you more than He can handle.’ I will always remember that.

  2. Anna,
    I’m so sorry…well meaning people say a lot of trite and cliché things when we’re hurting. I believe our kindest act is to not say anything at all, but to listen, acknowledge the other’s pain, and finally just be there. Sometimes Christians can do more harm than good by trying to say something that sounds good or “holy”. When Jesus approached his friends at the tomb of Lazarus, He didn’t remind them that God is good, and that this was in God’s will…no, He wept. He hugged them and He wept with them. I think we all could learn a few things from this example. And certainly, God – if He allows it, HE will give us the grace to get through it…great post.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. Anna,

    I always know when I’ve read a piece of Gospel truth when I come away feeling free and not burdened. Thank you. Despite all the pain that life dishes up I am so comforted and relieved that I don’t have to add “doing XYZ to appease God” to the list. Instead He is the one who lightens my burden – He doesn’t add to it! It’s almost unbelievable that a Creator relates to His creature like that! It’s a beautiful truth. What a beautiful Father we have.

  4. Dear Anna,
    Thank you for such an encouraging and uplifting word. What a revelation changing ‘We’ for ‘He’ will make to my life. I have been chronically ill for past 6 years and have been devastated at times by Super Spiritual, Well Meaning Christians questioning why I am so ill or what I may have done to cause it. My God is a Loving and Caring Father and did not cause my illness, many of them are genetic but He declares by His stripes I am healed. God has no favourites and His Timing is perfect. I have had to deal with anger, frustration and pain coming to terms with being Chronically Ill and registered disabled and the total devastation and impact it has had on mine and my Family and friends life. Recently because of drastic medical measures I was put on morphine and had a 6 week respite period where I had no pain and felt well for the first time in 3 years. I so rejoiced and My Husband and I had our first holiday in 3 years. It has been a struggle fighting off an infection and has hit me hard because I tasted good health and want it back. At my lowest points I try to pry for others who are worse off than me for many reasons. God has never left or forsaken me and still has His Plan for my Life. Despite all the Chaos and Treatments I know God is in Control and if I am willing HE will enable me to be victorious and be More than a Conqueror. God Bless and Anoint your Giftings and use you mightly, Anna. x

  5. Thanks for this message. I am one of those who uses and believes all those cliches’ like God gives you only what you can handle; when one door closes/ a window opens; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, etc.. But I use all of them on myself, never feeling strong enough to tell someone else those things. Sometimes it works but just enough to get me through another day. I can’t let myself worry about how to get through the next day because that will cause me despair. The daily news with all the world problems and my job with all it’s problems, and my 84 yr. old father’s problems and 2 cats who were recently sick, the mess my house and yard are in, not to mention the sickness and problems of family, coworkers and friends– and how can I possibly get through another day? You gave it a twist that God will give us only what HE can handle…. that I must remember to turn it all over to him and just let go and live for him the best I can. Thanks

    • Judy, it can all be completely overwhelming, can’t it? So grateful for our Lord, whom nothing passes by or is overlooked – including our own lives and hearts. Blessings to you.

  6. Anna, thank you for this beautifully written post. And what a difference between those two little words. I will hang onto that.

  7. Anna, thank you for voicing what I’ve thought for years. It’s dangerous to believe God will only give us what we can handle; like we’re somehow capable. If we believe that, we will have false expectations and needless shame when we fall short…when all the time God is there. Today is my brother’s birthday; he would have been 33 years. Even “just” the grief of losing my best friend ripped my heart’s fabric into shreds. Our town is also mourning the loss of two officers from a shooting this week that impacted people I go to church with. No, we can’t handle life, but thank You, Jesus He can!

    • Yes. Yes. I like how you phrased that and do think it is dangerous too.

      And I am so sorry for your loss, Pearl. Thank you for sharing part of your story here with us.

  8. Anna, I praise the Lord for these beautifully tender words that you have let flow today. I have lost children and it is a deep grief that I have learned that I can only bear with His love. I love that you said “It is Him, in us, equipping us, loving us, that allows for the handling of these situations.” All that we have is gift-how needy we are for our Savior who is the vine without which we can do nothing. May He fill and lift us all up today with His loving nurturing so that we may be able to produce blessed fruit wherever we find ourselves 🙂

  9. “We trust and hear His still, small voice amidst all the things we can’t handle alone. In the good and in the straight-up bad, He stands. He handles. He intercedes. He heals. He loves. I have to believe this or I couldn’t handle anything at all.”

    Love this. Thank you for it.
    in the midst of it all, I choose to believe because He is always in control. Belief is my job and the part I have to play in His plan for my life.

  10. Amen! The cliché you speak of and that people like to toss around is a misuse of Scripture. “He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand….” (1 Corinthians 10:31) This clearly makes reference to our ability to withstand temptation to sin with God’s help.

    You are absolutely correct to say there are things we can’t handle. Truly, there are things we are not meant to “handle” – not ever. But God in His kindness and grace gives us what we need in all situations as you have eloquently shared today. Thank you for having the courage to share your insight.

  11. Anna, beautiful, truthful, loving, practical post. I have been given more than what I can handle, but it is not more than what God can handle, and it through the years and His Word has taught me to trust in Him. Thank you Anna for this reminder. Blessings, Joanne

  12. AMEN and AMEN!! I have said this for years. God routinely gives us/allows us to go through those things we cannot handle so that we lean on Him and let Him work wonders in our lives. There is nothing that God cannot handle and the really great thing is that He will do whatever we need if we just trust Him and His promises to take care of His children (that would be you and me) always.

  13. I love this post. I know He was with me handling things as I went through them. I heard that Mother Teresa quote about wishing God didn’t trust her so much. I know the feeling. I try very hard to communicate the love of Jesus to encourage and uplift women. There is no way to describe that loss you feel, but the man of sorrows knows. He knows things we do not, sees what can’t except by some glimpse of the Spirit’s grace. We have an adversary, but more so we have the Prince of Peace.

  14. Why do we go beyond, “I’m just so sorry.” We are told to rejoice with rejoicers and weep with weepers. Not fix, preach, teach or inform. Rejoice and weep.

    “We” to “He”… YES!

    Take good care of yourself…xoxox

  15. Ladies, Anna is spot on.

    It was pointed out to me by a member of my Bible study group a number of years ago that the saying, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is not even IN scripture, neither literally or figuratively, or by implication.

    Remember Job? And think of so many others between then and now. With my own life I can attest to this statement as a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding of what God has said.

    The Lord may, “not suffer a bruised reed to break,” but we may be tested by Him (not that many of our circumstances derive from this) , toyed with & tested by the enemy of our souls souls (more often the case), or unduly pressed by the convergence of circumstances of our lives in what is a fallen world (lots of action here).

    Somehow that popular saying has perpetuated a misinterpretation of scripture, and been handed down through the years — many, many years –like a bad recipe. We certainly don’t want to be in the business of being like Job’s friends. We want to feed our souls the hope and grace of the truth…and pass it down like the good and recipe that it is.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment here! You are correct – I’ve never found that to be anywhere in Scripture either. “We certainly don’t want to be in the business of being like Job’s friends. We want to feed our souls the hope and grace of the truth…” <– This is beautifully stated.

      So glad to have you here.

  16. Sisters, Anna is SPOT ON! Not being TEMPTED beyond what we can bear (1Cor. 10:13) is literally and experientially different than not being GIVEN more than we can bear.

    It was pointed out to me, by a member of my Bible study group a number of years ago, that the saying, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,” is not even IN the Bible, not in scripture either literally OR figuratively, OR by implication. Jesus perspired blood when HE was facing more than He could bare. He then submitted to it, and for that, we are thankful.

    Remember Job? And think of so many others between then and now. With my own life I can attest to this statement as a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding of what God has said. It happens.

    The Lord may, “not suffer a bruised reed to break,” but we may be tested by Him (not that the majority of our circumstances derive from this), toyed with and tested by the enemy of our souls (more often the case), or unduly pressed by the convergence of circumstances in our lives, in what is a fallen world (lots of action here).

    Somehow that popular saying has perpetuated a misinterpretation of scripture, and been handed down through the years — many, many years — like a bad recipe. We certainly don’t want to be in the business of being like Job’s friends. We want to feed our souls the hope and grace of the truth…and pass it down like the good recipe that it is.

    THANK you, Anna!

  17. Oh my goodness Anna. I love your posts, but this one REALLY touched my heart. I have also lost 3 babies and heard the same sentiments as you and wondered, “why, God?” With your permission, I would like to letter your last 8 paragraphs {not that all of them aren’t awesome 🙂 } and keep it in my bible as a reminder of swapping out words!!! Thank you for always reaching to the core of our Lord so that we may keep our eyes on Him. I appreciate you and your words more than you’ll ever know.
    Blessings to you, dear child of God.

  18. I can so identify with you. I also have learned to interpret that verse the same way. We can’t handle much, but He can handle all. Somehow we are being navigated through our lives. I also have lost 2 children. I share your loss. 26 years and still I can’t handle it. He gets me through one day at a time. Now I have other issues I can’t handle. Thank you for reminding me today of His faithfulness.

  19. Thank you so much for this word for me! As I face cancer and surgery a second time I needed it. The loss of my only daughter some years ago and loss of a spouse more recent have been challenges I could not handle but He could.
    This word brought a great reminder and encouragement to me and I give thanks.

  20. Anna,

    So sorry for all the losses you’ve been through. Through all trials-be it personal or worldly-we must remember that He is in control of all this big world. He will get us through all trials and make us better in the end. When trials hit me I just turn to God and pray hard and fervently! I have witnessed 3 miracles this year. I know He can handle everything. When chaos rains in the world I turn to God and ask how long oh Lord must we endure down here before you come? He knows the most perfect time to come back and get us out of these trials and chaos.

    Blessings 🙂