The God of Limits
It is a truth that our infinite God made finitude such an essential aspect of all creation. Rivers flow where God deigns them and they flow to oceans that are bounded by land.
Our atmosphere eventually runs thin the higher one goes, as does our energies as we age. God has filled creation with limits.
Wisdom to Live Within
We know from Colossians 1 that all things were created by God, for God and are held together by God. He sustains everything we see. It is wise for everything created to remain utterly dependent and responsive to the Creator. To submit to God’s design for our lives is a wise response. God knows this – he knows it is for our own good to live within his wisely designed constraints.
Even Jesus lived within limits in his incarnation. He only did what his Father showed him to do (see John 5:19, 30 for example), he slept as he tired, he was only in one place at one time.
In my youth I knew “no bounds.” Limits were there but I was determined in what I wanted to do and relentless about when I wanted to do it and how I wanted to do it. If I even smelled a limitation I doubled down. My life motto was “try harder.” That was (past-tense) a grace and mercy, all that unbridled zest for life allowed for a lot to get done – like work all day then parent three energetic boys into the night day after day after day. Now it makes me tired just thinking about it.
God knows it is not wisdom to live this way all our our life. God is inviting us to a wiser life motto than “just do more.”
Why is that as we age our limitations increase? God is the sustaining God. He sustains the sun’s energy for thousands upon thousands of years so why does he not sustain our energy? Why do we bump into our limits more now than ever as we age? These are questions too great for us, but if we listen to the tenure of Scripture we’d note that output is never God’s ultimate concern. Relationship always is God’s deepest, first and foremost longing.
I have been made aware that despite diminished energies I can still have the most fruitful years ahead of me. How is that possible? God brings fruitfulness not by frenetic activity. Fruitfulness comes from deeper relationship.
This reflection on our limits and depency has innumerable applications. We grow in dependency along this “Via Limatiatio.” The sooner we allow God to move us from resistance to resignation to embracing our limits the sooner we can not only grow in wisdom but even in vitality and impact. Kind of paradoxical, isn’t it?
Are you aware of your limits? Financially? Emotionally? Spiritually? Relationally? Professionally? Organizationally? Maybe these are not curses but blessings. What is God protecting you from with these limits?
How is the Spirit inviting you to live within these God-created realities? What would a wise and loving response to him be?
If you lived well within your limits over the long-haul, how could your personal and professional worlds demonstrated vibrancy?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.