When I was growing up, I remember watching episodes of the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, which were science fiction shows that tested the limits of the imagination. Both series were interesting in that they explored the human condition and how our values and morals were tested in a variety of sometimes extreme scenarios. We test the limits of our abilities as we grow from childhood into adulthood. Our intellectual abilities are challenged in school, as we learn to read, and as we explore other areas of interest. We challenge our physical limits through individual and team sports, and as we find a balance between working, eating and sleeping. I have been putting in extra hours with some projects and have found the effects that limited and interrupted sleep have on my body, and the results are not good. Hopefully, in every area of life, we come to understand what things are beneficial and what activities are detrimental to our overall health.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8
Kids like boundaries, though they would never admit to it. They test the limits of what they can do, but they eventually want to know what is acceptable and what is not, and why. As we grow from children into adults, we learn what is good and not good for us through our experiences or from listening to advice of someone wiser than us. Maybe even as adults, we like to know where our boundaries are located, so we can function well within them. Even if someone warns us that an activity may be bad for us, or cause us to get hurt, at some point we may challenge that assumption and find out through experience that they were right. At some point, even with rules and boundaries, kids will have the freedom to make choices and face consequences as they leave home and become more independent.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
We even test the limits of God’s grace. We always want salvation and more…a nice house, job, community, respect, and whatever else we may be chasing. The more is that part of our heart that is reserved for God, but that often gets sold out to some other god. We are challenged to grow in our faith as we are tested through different circumstances, trials, and challenges we face each day through life. We make choices to either submit to God or to rebel against Him in little ways each day. As we encounter difficulties in life, we are either compelled to turn toward God or away from him. How do you react when things don’t go your way?
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. 2 Corinthians 12:9
What are the limits of your abilities? What happens when you reach the end of what you can do…where do you turn? Whether physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual, we all encounter challenges in life and encounter the limits of what we can do on our own. We can either run away and try to hide these limitations, or accept the challenge to grow from these experiences. God wants us to grow more dependent on Him as we mature, even if we have the ability to ‘do it all by ourselves.’ What areas of your life do you still need to surrender to Him? Take steps to do that today.
Strength and Courage in Christ,