Embracing our Limitations
We live in a culture that doesn’t like limitations. When I was in middle school I remember begging my dad for unlimited data with my sisters, and now none of us can imagine what life was like before unlimited data was a thing. We want it all, we want it fast, we don’t want to be told no or that we can’t have something or do something.
Personally, as an enneagram seven, feeling limited frustrates me. Being told to stay home for longer than I ever anticipated due to the corona virus turned from a welcome little staycation to a frustrating experience when I wanted so badly to strut into my favorite coffee shop, to host a game night with lots of friends, or to travel and explore. I don’t like being limited. I want to have lots of options, an abundance of choices, and freedom without limits.
Lately, I’ve been confronted with my limitations. My generally hopeful attitude toward the future shifted to a more cautious uncertainty. My desire to plan ahead and look forward to what is next, was forced away as I had to look at my present reality and instead of hoping for what will be, be grateful for what was.
I am a very limited human. I can only do so much within the limitations of time. I only have a certain capacity for emotion, and when I reach it, I get emotionally exhausted and drained and I have to take a step back to rest.
I am limited in what I can accomplish in a certain amount of time, in how much creativity I can cultivate, in how much content I can create and how many emails I can send. I get tired, I get hungry, I go home to my husband and complain about both.
Over the last two years, I started to make some major career moves. As I dreamed big dreams and put all my hopes and positive projections out into the future, I was confronted with other people reminding me I was limited. Growth can only happen so fast. You can only learn so much in that amount of time.
You are limited in your knowledge, you are limited in your time, you are limited in experience, you are limited in finances. There is only so much you can do This was a message I was constantly receiving and I received it with frustration and helplessness.
I have so many desires, but with the limitations of my humanness, I felt like throwing my hands up in the air and climbing back into bed first thing in the morning because I was constantly reminded that I was limited. I felt the pressure of people all around me asking, how will you do it?
This morning, I opened up my Bible not even thinking about my limitations. This week has been hard. It’s been action packed with social events, work obligations, and my body kept telling me to rest but I wasn’t listening. What limit? Who me? I don’t have limits…
I was reading 2 Kings 4:38-44 when I saw what God does with our human limitations. There was a famine in the land, so the people were very limited in what they could eat. They made stew with gourds, not realizing the gourds were poisonous. Then, Elisha simply added flour and God supernaturally allowed them to eat what was previously poison without any issues.
Then, a man brings twenty loaves of bread hoping to feed the people with this offering. They are concerned this is not enough for one hundred men, but God declared that there would be more than enough. Everyone ate and there was more than enough, they had food left over.
When I read this passage, I saw people with limitations. They were in a famine season. They didn’t have choices. They just ate what they could find. One of those things was poisonous, but what did God do with that limitation? He turned death into life. He took what was harmful and turned it into something nourishing and good.
They were limited in the food they had and they were limited in their understanding of provision. In a famine season, there isn’t an abundance mindset. They were confronted with poverty all around them, they had taken those limitations and accepted them as a reality and as normal. They were limited, and they were comfortable staying in those limitations, staying hungry, staying in a space where they weren’t provided for or expectant for provision.
I see God, who made us with limitations, who knows those limitations, and comes and enters into those spaces of deep need and desire and He fulfills those needs and desires. Sometimes, that means meeting the need or giving us the desire, but sometimes, it means God fulfills those needs and desires when we find fulfillment in Him alone.
God isn’t limited, and so He enters in and loves us through our limitations.
When the people in famine saw not enough, felt hunger, and embraced the belief that they wouldn’t be provided for, God took what they had with the limited amount of food and the limited expectation and belief, and He provided more than enough. He gave generously as He always does, taking scarcity in a famine season and turning it into abundance. He isn’t limited by what limits us.
God is a God of abundance. We can embrace the limited hours we have in a day, the limited amount of emotional and physical capacity we have, the limited gifts, talents, skills or knowledge we have.
We can embrace our limitations with God, offering all that we have as an imperfect offering, knowing that He is a God without limits.
He will come and enter in, blessing us with abundance. He isn’t limited by what limits us. So, we can embrace our limitations and be empowered by them knowing that God is without limits and He can accomplish anything. We can walk confidently in limitations, in famine, looking to God to be unlimited and not trying to become without limits ourselves.