When the Burden You’re Asked to Carry Is Far Too Heavy

Sometimes we’re tasked with carrying a burden too heavy to lift. It’s in those impossible assignments where we discover we’re not alone.

Impossible Burden

When God asked me to take on the job of parenting a child with special needs, I felt inadequate for the task at hand. My awareness of that inadequacy has increased as my daughter has grown.

The developmental gap between Rachel and her peers has become much wider, which has created many additional challenges I didn’t foresee in the early years.

    • Rachel has less in common with her peers now, so it’s more difficult for them to find things to enjoy together.
    • Her “different” behavior is more noticeable now at age 18 than it was at 4.
    • As Rachel’s peers have become increasingly independent, their parents enjoy a level of spontaneity and flexibility my husband and I don’t have, increasing our isolation.
    • Education challenges have become greater and meetings more burdensome.
  • Decisions about her future have become more pressing.

grace for every burden

More Than We Can Handle

Some say God will never give you more than you can handle.

I disagree. Raising and caring for this precious child of God is a task far too great for me to handle.

The Apostle Paul and his companions also experienced circumstances far beyond their capacity to handle.

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” 2 Corinthians 1:8 

Like Paul and the other disciples, all of us are, were, or likely will be tasked to carry an impossibly heavy burden. But there’s a purpose behind such an assignment.

Paul explains,

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9

From an early age we’re groomed for independence. Our parents and other loved ones do their best to teach us how to stand on our own two feet, to eventually fly the coop and make it on their own.

And for the most part, that’s a good thing.

Only it gives us a false sense of power and strength. We begin to believe we can build a tower all the way to heaven (see Genesis 11:1-9). 

So God allows suffering. He allows crushing circumstances to drive us to our knees.

Not because He’s cruel, but because He loves us so much, He wants us to find the source of true Life: Him.

God allows sin and brokenness and suffering to survive a little longer so fewer of His children will perish in their self-sufficiency and pride.

God allows sin and brokenness and suffering to survive a little longer so fewer of His children will perish. Click To Tweet

burden too heavy

Grace Enough for Any Burden

Yet God doesn’t leave us unprepared for our struggles, and He doesn’t leave us alone in them.

He’s promised,

“My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

No matter how brutal your suffering is, you can rest in that promise!

No matter how brutal your suffering is, you can rest in the promise that God's grace is sufficient! Click To Tweet

As I look back on the past 18 years since the birth of Rachel, I get glimpses of how God prepared me for the role He asked me to assume.

He demonstrated His faithfulness when He chased me down in the agonizing years of miscarriages. He taught me to trust that He will be there for me when I finally shed my self-sufficiency mask.

Now when I need him in those desperate moments, I trust He’ll be there.

As I reflect on the long, winding, rocky road behind me, I catch glimpses of where He’s stepped in to carry me when my strength failed.

Now when a look into my daughter’s future paralyzes me, I trust He’ll carry me through the next moment, the next day, the next year.

God prepared me for raising this sweet gift of mine by offering me His joy and peace when I struggled to find my own. He’s strengthened my faith by meeting me in my darkest hours and sheltering me in the fiercest storms.

Paul knew his ministry would be a difficult one. He knew life wouldn’t be all roses. But He learned to trust that God would help him with his burden, whatever it was.

“He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:10

God is preparing you for your assignments too. He’ll be with you, and He will deliver you as well. 

God is preparing you for your assignments. He'll be with you, and He will deliver you as well. Click To Tweet

Trust the Lord. He will prove faithful. Set your hope on its only true source: Jesus Christ!

Reflections: What impossibly heavy have you been tasked to carry, now or in the past? Are you trying to do it on your own strength or putting your hope in the God who will provide? 

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “that time God asked me to . . .” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.

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By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “When the Burden You’re Asked to Carry Is Far Too Heavy
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    Julie: I understand a part of what you have felt. God will take care of Rachel and you and your family. Parents of children with special needs have to rely on God. No one knows beforehand that this will be their lot. But God, through His grace for us and our families, guides us through.

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