Monday, October 21, 2013

Limitations

Limitation.  I like how the guy has his binoculars.
Look for God.  He's working in every limitation.

They're everywhere.  Some change the course of a day while others a lifetime.  We encounter them all of the time. If they're not our own then we experience them in the world around us. Other people's limitations effect us. Creation is full of limitations. Streams of water are shaped by limitations. Cities develop according to limitations - whether demographics, the economy, history or weather.  The southern cities developed much more after air conditioning was invented because the hot weather limited it prior. We live within limitations and we ourselves are limited.

 While contemplating my next pair of running shoes I researched a recommended brand called Newtons. Their claim to fame is that they help you tap into otherwise unused muscle power by using better form. Most running shoes "use passive cushioning...that flattens under your body weight...". This cushioning obstructs your ability to sense the ground under you and communicate with your brain what muscles are needed. In essence you're running in a non-sustainable, comfy bubble that limits your best muscle/ligament power to propel you over the ground.  Crazy enough, you're even more susceptible to injury in that unrealistic bubble.

It dawned on me that many of the limitations I experience frustrate my "passive cushioning" which obstructs my ability to sense the real ground I'm running on. I can get all sorts of bent out of shape when limitations block my perceived desires, needs and goals. Worry and anxiety rear. A victim mentality consumes. Anger boils.  Depression and apathy paralyze.  Quickly my selfish-focus becomes fixated on establishing the "passive cushioning" I crave. My prayer life becomes about removing the limitations of finances, sickness, difficult people, etc. You get the point.  Any and all limitations must leave in the Name of Jesus. "Right?"

Stamina wains with my limited wisdom and remedies.  Thoughts are crowded with promising, bubble-visions titled, "IF only...".  As if that was possibly the only remedy.  However, with increased concentration, these limitations don't vanish.  Instead fears multiply because I'm not utilizing God's infinite power and wisdom to satisfy and propel me.

The blessed truth is that God is always jealously at work in every limitation. These limitations are totally in His mercifully-sovereign care.  He is the master of them!  They are essential tools in His skilled hands. Where I'd obliterate every supposed limitation and labor to restore or increase cushioning God is faithfully working to develop and tap into the better strength. The strength that comes when I realistically see and feel the road underfoot, realize He's bigger and trust Him to faithfully provide. Again, He has supplied all that I need to run this race with endurance.  There is nothing in heaven that He hasn't given.  He gave everything and held nothing back.  He gave HIMSELF.

I'm challenged to ask in the face of these limitations, "Who is God in this?  How is He sufficient?  Am I trusting in the fullness of Him and His perfect wisdom or am I seeking my own remedies?  Am I willing to pray through this diligently and keep running or  will I rebelliously fall down in a defeated pile?  Whose race is this any way?  Mine or God's?"

How about you?  Are you experiencing limitations today?  Are you enjoying His complete sufficiency found through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus?

I encourage you to rest in His perfect, protective love at work in your ordained limitations.  His righteous wisdom holds each of them with great love for you.  Do you trust Him to strengthen your real muscle power in Him or do you prefer the "passive cushioning" that doesn't last?

 Oh, how He loves us!  He doesn't give us what we think we need but instead gives us Himself and teaches us to treasure Him best of all; making our joy full.

Romans 8:32"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"


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