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By Dr. Rick Koole
Special to the Village News 

'I can't take it anymore'


Last updated 6/11/2018 at 3:40pm

Dr. Rick Koole is the senior pastor of LifePointe Church in Fallbrook, formerly Fallbrook First Baptist Church.

Have you ever cried out in despair, "I can't take it anymore?" Here are a few thoughts that might help you get through the crisis you may be experiencing. I believe that God truly knows what each of us is going through, and he knows exactly how much we can take and will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can handle. It's as if each of us has a "Plimsoll mark" in our life. But, what is a "Plimsoll mark?"

The British reformer Samuel Plimsoll led the fight for the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876. It required that all ocean going ships have a line painted on their bow near the water line. The line soon came to be known as the Plimsoll mark. If a ship was loaded with too much cargo, causing it to sink below the Plimsoll mark, it was deemed too unstable to sail the open seas and was not allowed out of the harbor. This line made the long and perilous ocean voyages much safer. The Plimsoll mark became known as the "sailor's friend," and to this day, it may be seen on the bows of ships as they lie at anchor in the safety of a harbor.

It is comforting to know that God has a Plimsoll mark in each of our lives. In other words, despite the severity of the trial, he will never allow you to face a test greater than you can pass. As you go through life's most painful struggles, remember God's promise in I Corinthians 10:13, "No test has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear. But when you are tested, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

People who have gone through painful struggles will testify that they were stretched during the testing and that the stretching taught them valuable lessons that made them better people.

It was Malcolm Muggeridge who admitted, "Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained."

I was at a conference with a close friend when he introduced me to Don, a highly successful acquaintance of his. We talked with him for a time and then left. As we walked away, he leaned over and said something to me that I'll never forget.

He said, "You can trust Don. He's already been broken."

There is something special about people who have endured suffering and brokenness, and yet through their pain they saw the hand of God and chose to become a better person.

C.S. Lewis summed it up so well with his classic statement, "Pain is God's megaphone. He whispers to us in our pleasures, but He shouts to us in our pain."


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