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Part 7: How Much Can I Take?


My wife and I have owned a travel trailer for a few years now. There is a lot to learn. Not only about the operations of the trailer but about packing to go. It seems like it should be an easy thing to figure out, but it actually is a ridiculous thing to try to figure out. Every.Time.

Most often I have a ton of stuff in the trailer as well as in my truck—and as I’m finally fully packed and ready, my wife will emerge from the house with a couple more bags and an excited comment kind of like, “This is everything!” I’m never really sure what to make of said comment. Do you mean, "This is everything we are taking?" Or, do you mean, "With these two final bags the house is now empty?"

I have learned to keep my mouth shut and have found that if you squeeze and squish and push and pull, there is always room for the final two or three bags. Still, at the end of the day, we are both fully aware that we can only take so much stuff, so we continue to work at our packing ‘system.’

Load In.

There is a national weight limit for tractor trailers of 80,000 pounds with few exceptions. One of those exceptions applies to farmers who may apply for a special farm permit which allows them a gross weight limit of 95,000 pounds!

How much more can I take? Zero more – This is an extraordinary amount of weight. I am allowed 15,000 additional pounds of freight but no additional brakes to get it all slowed down.

This often is a very frustrating aspect of driving in the world of cars, most of whom literally have no idea of the potential dangers of driving around a big truck. They are frequently lost in their phone or distracted by a dozen other things and lose track of their surroundings. It looks something like this – We all know that no one ever wants to be behind a big truck, especially at a stop light.

So, I am approaching the red light very cautiously knowing I have an extreme amount of weight on. The cars however could care less about my situation as they pass me and then quickly cut back in front of me. The problem is that every car that cuts back in front of me now takes about twenty more feet of my stopping distance away from me.

You see where this is going, right?

Real-Life Awareness.

Part of the reason for these blogs is to give the motoring public a different perspective on sharing the road with these annoying big trucks that we will do almost anything to get around. But the issue is safety – just put the phone down for a minute and think about it. If a truck weighing 95,000 pounds comes into contact with your comparatively puny four-wheeler, it is going to cause a tremendous amount of damage. Even at slow speeds, like approaching a red light; if you, taking up all my space results in me no longer having enough room to stop and I rear end your car, it will most likely be totaled and you will almost certainly be injured. It’s about the sheer mass of the truck.

Trust me on this one, I’ve seen it. Thankfully, I’ve never done it.

Driving a grain truck for four years caused me to become very aware of the dangers of exceeding all I can take. The police also help me with this. It also caused me to ditch any ‘once-in-a-while’ road rage. I have many times been very thankful for a grace-filled God who showed me how to lay down my anger. Now I pray instead – a lot. Honestly, it’s not simply the car driver’s fault. It’s usually a simple matter that no one has taught them how to safely drive around an eighteen-wheeler.

My Limits.

I have found that I have limits just like my truck does. Over the past few years, especially since COVID, I have encountered many folks in the counseling office who have simply cried out in exhaustion and frustration, “I don’t know how much more I can take!” I have often wondered the same thing.

Our enemy seems to be the master of piling on. Just when we think we have nothing more to give, the car breaks down, or the washing machine quits. We don’t have any kind of built-in scale that tells us that we have reached the maximum load limit and that we should take a long nap in order to reset.

I have often laughed out loud when some well-meaning Christian says something like, “Well you know, God will never give you more than you can handle.” Seriously? Really? Are you kidding me? My reading of the Bible and my life’s experience informs me that God will always give us more than we can handle. It is the reason that my life’s verse is Hebrews 10:38,

But My righteous one shall live by faith;

and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.

You see, God wants us to need Him. He delights in ‘showing up’ for His children. The sad reality is that when I can handle whatever comes my way, I’m usually not walking by faith, I’m walking in my own power and understanding. This is spiritually fatal to a man. God becomes our “in case of emergency, try prayer” rather than, “we walk by faith and not by sight.”

Men, we are each designed to know God and to walk through our life trusting Him – (so are women). However, I will grow in that understanding only as God allows me to find myself in situations that are beyond my ability to handle or control.

That’s where our faith comes in – that’s where it’s tested – and that’s where God wants to prove His sufficiency. He will either show up in some unexpected answer or increase our capacity to endure the circumstances. Sometimes He does both.

In either case, He wants us to grow in our understanding and dependency of His goodness and His faithfulness. That is what faith is – Without the testing we will never know if we truly trust Him.

Are you struggling with an issue or condition that seems to have no end? Have you already cried out, “Lord, how much can I take?”

God hasn’t promised us an easy life. He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. I encourage you to continue to trust Him. He will not leave you. He will see you through to the end of every trial.

It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why?

Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists

and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 (The Message)


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