Power in Limitations

A student stays up all night writing a paper, because she stayed up the last few nights researching and writing other papers; attending rehearsals, practices, and clubs; and being there for a friend in need.

 A mom cooks, cleans, feeds, yells, entertains, teaches, loves, feels too much, and is exhausted from just another day.

 An employee looks at her list of things to do, doesn’t know where to begin or how it will get done, and goes to get another coffee.

 A patient is sick of being sick, lonely, and in a state of waiting. She’s angry at her body for not being strong enough and her mind for spiraling down to bad places.

 A reader is so aware of her own limitations.

 I can’t do it.

 I’m not enough.

 I’ve failed.

 I can’t fix this.

 This world is broken, and some days we are so aware of it.

 Without God, people only have their own expectations of what the human limit or standard is. They look around and determine the line laid by society and their own attitudes. Some thrive off of pushing the limits of what the human body and mind can do. Some crumble from the pressure of not nearing the self-imposed limit.

 But at some point, you will fall short of whatever expectation you have for yourself, or what someone has for you.

 Then what?

 Without God, all you could do is try again and hope for the best. Learn coping methods. Ask for help with your workload. But you would never have to face the root of the problem.

We will never be enough on our own. But for a Christian, that is not a downer because God had a plan to fix that from the beginning.

 Adam and Eve sinned, but God promised to redeem everything by sending his Son to take the punishment once for all. He knew we could not save ourselves, but did not hold that against us. He didn’t watch us struggle and only step in once he thought we gave it a good enough shot.

 After Jesus lived a perfect life, was unjustly murdered, and rose from death, he said to his friends, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 Jesus took care of our biggest problem- sin. Simple enough to say, but sometimes hard to live like we believe it and that it matters here and now. It’s not just so we can go to heaven one day. We can live as redeemed children of God right now! This should change our attitudes on the daily.

 When we feel oh so limited by our current situations, know that God sees you. Jesus didn’t just die, rise, and then leave us alone since he won against the devil. He fixed the eternal consequences for our sin, and now lives in us to help us.

 Why would a loving God let me struggle?

 In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-8

 If everything was perfect all the time, we wouldn’t see our need for God, and that’s so dangerous. We start to think we’re in charge of our lives and become proud of what we’ve built all on our own.

 I once heard that while Americans pray for impoverished people around the world, those poorer nations are praying for us- that our wealth does not blind us to God. This floored me when I first heard it. Those people are happier with the very little they have, hardly enough to get by, because they get to see God come through more often. And they pity us because we live like God doesn’t really matter or have any real power in our daily lives.

 Imagine being so dependent on God that if he doesn’t show up, you have nothing you did to fall back on. There is no plan B. God is the only plan. But yet they can be so trusting that he will provide. Can we trust God here?

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8

 I sure don’t feel happy when I’m weak, overworked, or limited. But what if we thought about the fact that God’s power is currently working in us? He’s giving us his superpowers! God is not limited!

 What if you used your weaknesses to praise God and pull you closer to him?

 Lord, I am limited and struggling. Thank you for taking care of my salvation that makes my earthly trials look small in comparison. But today they feel big and impossible to overcome. I’m putting my faith in you. I trust you to get me through the next minute, hour, day, week. I want to feel your power in me. I praise you for your undeserved love for me. Let me see your good, gracious hand in this.

 What if an unbeliever friend saw how you handled a tough situation with grace and trust in God?

 Lord give me holy strength to keep going with a good attitude. Let your love shine through me that others would see only you. Let those around me discover your power at work in our lives.

 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:1-6 (Read more of Romans 5 to really let that redemption story sink in).

 Lord, lead me to boast in you. Let my trust and confidence in what you have done and will do for me just bubble up out of me. Let my faith be apparent to others, especially as we walk through trials together. Show them that I can handle anything, differently than the world tries to, because it’s really not me handling it.

 May my limitations cause me to rest in the one who is limitless.

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