“I know God will never give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

I don’t remember the first time I read or heard that saying, but I do know it made me smile and nod my head. I can relate. I’m sure most people can.

And I smile and nod whenever I come across it, or when it pops into my mind for some reason. When I feel weighed down with responsibilities and obligations, for instance, or when someone I know is going through an especially difficult or busy spell and is having trouble handling everything.

Although the saying has a lighthearted tone to it, it actually covers a pretty serious subject. The burdens we have to bear, and the loads we have to carry, can indeed be heavy and, at times, overwhelming. It can seem as though we’re carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. And sometimes we’re not sure if we can do it – and survive.

But we do. Somehow, we get over the worst of it, and we see brighter days ahead. We discover strength we didn’t know we had – or we develop the strength we need as we struggle through whatever situations and problems we’re dealing with. And we realize that we’re able to handle more than we thought we could. More than we were able to before.

This reminds me of another quote, by Robert Brault, that I find both reassuring and motivating: “How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it.”

This helps me remember – especially when I’m in the middle of the most trying times – that I’m going to be stronger and smarter once they’re behind me. I will be more experienced and more capable. I will be a better person in some way, and I will actually be able to handle tasks and situations that I wasn’t able to before. Or I’ll be able to handle them more easily.

So that’s what I’m going to focus on being thankful for this year. The problems, burdens, and heavy loads I’ve been asked or expected to carry – whether they come from outside sources and influences or are self-imposed. And I will be thankful for the strength and knowledge I’ve gained – or am still in the process of acquiring – because of them. Just thinking about them in this way helps to energize and empower me, and that’s something else to be thankful for.

When I find myself thinking that God – or anyone else, myself included – is giving me more than I can handle, I’m going to try to remember that I can trust myself to rise to the challenge rather than allowing it to beat me down.  I can have faith that better times are ahead – not in spite of, but because of whatever I am going through. And I can take comfort in knowing that once I have handled it, I’ll be even better prepared for whatever trials and challenges may be coming next.

I think that’s definitely something to be thankful for. I hope you do, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on November 27, 2014.
©Betty Liedtke, 2014

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