The old adage “God will never give you more than you can handle” is 100% false. It needs revision. I would change it to say, “When God gives you more than you can handle, He will not leave you alone, for He will be your guide and your strength.”
The day God gave me more than I could handle was the day my son, Silas, died.
We were at a routine doctor’s appointment on Thursday, August 8, 2013. He was six-weeks old and our doctor was keeping close tabs on him because of his breastmilk jaundice, which had almost completely healed that day. He was also struggling to gain weight because of acid reflux and we were going to make a plan to help him, but we never got that far.
Silas cried that day, and when he calmed, I tried to feed him like the doctor had asked, but he didn’t respond to latch on, nor did he try to turn away like he often did when he didn’t want to eat. I couldn’t tell if he’d tired himself from crying or if something was wrong. He was still breathing, but I couldn’t rouse him from his lethargic state. I took him out to the doctor thinking that later we’d all be laughing at my overly cautious concern, but later, there were only tears.
For more of what happened from then on, visit my post at That Day: The Worst Day of My Life. My intention today is not to walk back through that heart-wrenching memory, but rather to share how I survived something I never thought I could.
When I took my still son in my arms, I thought I could physically disintegrate from the pain that filled my whole being. I wailed with only one tear rolling down my cheek. I shattered into a million pieces, at the very least.
I prayed for God to allow me leave Silas in peace for my anguish was too much to bear and I needed to leave my son with all the love I could give him.
“In my distress I called to The Lord; I called out to my God. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.”
2 Samuel 22:7
God answered one of my prayers that day. In the moments that followed, my wailing calmed, and the tears began to flow unceasingly as I was allowed to know and understand that Silas was okay and he was at peace. Grief and sorrow remained in my heart, but there was peace.
My heart and mind are often brought back to those moments in the doctor’s office. In my reflections of that day, I have realized that when my heart shattered that day, God’s hand caught every single piece of my broken heart.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.”
2 Samuel 22:17
God does give us more than we can handle, but we are not alone, for He holds us in His loving hand and gives us strength when we have none.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
In the days following my son’s death, the Lord did not leave me. He brought to mind so many blessings which had been given to me in my time with Silas. The blessings were so special and so beautiful that I couldn’t help but give thanks that Silas was given to me, if only for a little time, and that eased a portion of my grief.
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”
1 Peter 1:6
A few months ago, I wrote about moving forward in this life, and how I know we are not immune to future tragedy. Our family hopes to be blessed with another child to love, but I always seem to couple that prayer with the disclaimer that I want to be able to keep my child for my whole life.
Even though I have opened my heart to the opportunity of loving more children in our family, I have realized that I often subconsciously try to direct God in how He can bless my life. I have placed limitations on Him because I want to protect my heart from more grief and sorrow, but having Silas has taught me that the blessings He gives us are worth the pain and sorrow caused when they are taken away.
I will not tell God what I can and cannot handle because I could miss out on the sweetest blessings. The reason I can do this is because I can trust God to be there when I am given more than I can handle.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Photo Credits: Joanie Glandon