I came across a quote a number of years ago that is often (erroneously) attributed to Mother Teresa: “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” I’ve used it in the past when I’ve presented or answered questions on suffering – largely because it’s a comforting quote.
Everyone suffers, so the problem of pain is one of the most obvious impediments to faith in God. The above quote (whoever said it) emphasizes not only God’s nearness to us in our suffering, but also a belief that God only tries us to our limits and no further. And it would seem that this understanding of suffering is strongly supported in the writings of St. Paul:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus ‘sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” -2 Corinthians 4:8-11
The only trouble here is that I’m not convinced that it’s actually true that God only tries us to our limits… and I don’t believe that this is what St. Paul meant, either. [Read more…] about God gives us more than we can handle