Breaking free from our limitations
I'm often struck by the fact there are always limitations, boundaries, constraints with life as we know it. If we are blessed to have enough to eat, clothes to wear and somewhere warm and dry to live, then indeed we should be thankful to our Creator. Yet sometimes we might find ourselves thinking that what we really need to meet our desire is beyond our reach – a more exotic meal, that particular garment, a bigger house. Our world, of course, is only too keen to convince us of our need of these things to make us happy… and to part with our money in order to fulfil it!
But, assuming our basic needs are met, there are other boundaries. As a child, I remember summer holidays seeming to stretch out with limitless opportunity. Yet soon September would come round and it would be back to school. There was a dawning realisation of how perverse is our sense of time: an hour on a task we do not like seems to take for ever, while the same period spent on a favourite hobby rushes by in a flash!
As we progress through life, the demands on our time may well become more intense. Monday seems to come round ever faster, and with it the need to be busily occupied in work of one kind or another. For some, the need to be ‘always online’ can mean that it is difficult to ‘switch off’ from work. If we are not careful, incessant activity can remove a quiet time to stop and think about what is really important.
As the years go by, another constraint perhaps begins to become more apparent. That apparently endless energy of our youth begins to wane. Aches and pains creep up on us and might well begin to limit the extent of our activity. Ultimately, As Job laments, the Almighty has put a limit on our lives:
Since [a man’s] days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass. (Job 14:5, NKJV).
Recognising this reality, the Psalms encourage us to trust in God, who is not limited in any way:
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God”. (Psalm 146:3-5).
In this respect, we are so unlike our Almighty Creator. As He declares, “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Mal 3:6). His Son is similarly consistent: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). We need to grasp hold of the certainty of God and His promises.
Paradoxically, the very awareness of our limitations is the key to breaking free from them. God is teaching us a powerful lesson: all these limitations are the result of our basic mortality. If only we will put our trust in God, and seek His ways, He has promised to remove them entirely.
God has promised, that when Jesus returns, God will give the faithful a new, never-ending life in His Kingdom. Gone will be limitations of any kind, so that his servants will be free to serve Him:
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).
How wonderful is the hope of life in God’s Kingdom! The God who is not limited has given us a hope of limitless life with Him. And the limitless love of God, expressed in His Son, is what we are urged to develop now, that we might serve Him to the ultimate then.