Can you handle it?

Several days ago a friend posted a status update on Facebook that really hit me. Hard. Square between the eyes.

God will never put more on your plate than you can handle. So I must not overload my plate.

Ok, so here’s the thing. I know there’s no Scripture in the Bible that says God won’t give us more than we can handle. In fact, we’re almost guaranteed to have more than we can handle…on our own. That’s why we need Him. To get through those things. But He does promise to give us what we need to get through whatever it is in front of us.

So, having said that, how full is your plate? Here’s why my friend’s status really hit me. We overload our proverbial plates on a daily basis. It seems to be the American way. If you have a free minute, you need to fill it. We fill it with good things, necessary things, God things, me things, guilt things, keep-up-with-the-neighbors things. We fill our plates to the point that one morsel more and it will all come spilling over the sides…with our emotions in tow.

But what happens when an extra helping of something unexpected comes our way? That’s why that status really hit me. We fill our plates so much that anything unexpected can push us to the brink, to the breaking point. We throw our hands up and say, “I can’t handle it!”

So what if my plate wasn’t so full? What if, instead of overcommitting and overextending, I prayerfully considered everything going onto my plate…even the things that seem trivial? And started with the necessary, with God’s best. What if I let God direct me in filling my plate and only put on it what He planned? What if I put my agenda aside and allowed him to work his plan? And what if I was ok with my plate not being full? What if I left room on my plate for when the unexpected happens?

Maybe, just maybe, if I didn’t spin my wheels filling my plate and let God fill the plate He has for me, I’d feel better able to handle the unexpected. Maybe then I’d feel overwhelmed, exhausted, burnt out less often. Maybe then I’d feel more peace in the everyday. Maybe then I would be ready to handle it.

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