What to Do in Those "I Can't Handle It!" Moments

When my son, Kipling, was about three, I was driving down the highway and suddenly he began hollering from the backseat. I glanced into my rear view mirror and saw that both he and his car seat had somehow toppled sideways. Kip was leaning on his side and staring out the window with wide eyes and a horrified expression. While he was not in any immediate danger, he was quite disturbed.

God is able and willing grant us the grace to victoriously walk through any and every difficult circumstance we may face.

It was about three minutes before I was able to pull off to the side of the road safely and straighten things out. During those three minutes, although I tried to reassure him that he would be okay, he kept yelling, "Mama! I can't handle it! I just can't handle it!" Kip sounded (and looked) so hilarious that I couldn't help but stifle a chuckle, though I did feel bad for the poor, little guy. His world had taken an unexpected turn, and he did not know how to deal with the sudden stress.

I Can't Handle It!

I can relate to that feeling.

As a mother of four young children, there are many moments when I'm tempted to proclaim, "I can't handle it! I just can't handle it!" Like those nights when—after a crazy, non-stop, exhausting day—my husband and I finally get the children all tucked into bed and are just sitting down in the living room to enjoy some peace and quiet, only to be called back downstairs about twenty times to mediate sibling squabbles, refill sippy cups with water, and tuck in comforters, which have somehow, in the space of five minutes, managed to become loose and "un-cozy." Or the time a few months ago when one child spilled red paint all over his clothes, another had an accident on the hardwood floor, and still another threw up on the new carpet, all in a one-hour stretch of time.

God Can!

I've learned that those "I can't handle it" moments present great opportunities for victory. Not victory in my own strength, but in the strength of Jesus Christ. In my weakness, His strength is made perfect (2 Cor. 12:9). But I must allow that supernatural work of grace to be accomplished in my soul by turning to Him for strength and peace, instead of giving in to how I'm feeling in the moment.

When life takes a hectic turn or when my emotions begin to protest against the constant demands of my family and ministry, a simple meditation on God's reality can give me a clearer perspective.

During stressful situations, I've been reminding myself of the verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). When I dwell upon this remarkable promise, I realize that I have no excuse to take the "I can't handle it" bait. When I ask God to fill me with His strength, He equips me to rise up like an athlete and run that extra mile, even when it's the last thing I feel like doing.

Those "I can't handle it" feelings can immediately be countered with a "God CAN handle it" attitude. When we face unexpected challenges, it can be tempting to have an emotional meltdown, lash out in frustration, or resign ourselves to defeat. But we must remember that God is able and willing grant us the grace to victoriously walk through any and every difficult circumstance we may face throughout our day, if we simply turn to Him for the supernatural strength we need.

When you try to handle stressful circumstances in your own strength, what is the result? How are things different when you rely on the grace of God instead?

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About the Author

Leslie Ludy

Leslie Ludy

Leslie Ludy is a bestselling author and speaker with a passion for helping women become set-apart for Christ. She and her husband Eric have published more than twenty books with well over a million copies in print and translations in over a dozen languages, including When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, and Set Apart Femininity. Her newest book, The Set-Apart Woman, was released in 2015. Eric and Leslie live in Windsor, Colorado with their six precious kiddos. 

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