This week I had lofty plans of a fabulous newsletter that would warm hearts, bring revival, and usher in Christ's return. Well maybe not exactly that, but pretty close to that. But then... a tingle in the throat, a sudden loss of energy, and the fall cold* I'd manage to dodge for weeks, invaded my life with no regard to my kingdom bringing newsletter plans. The nerve.
I don't share that to gain sympathy for my "not as polished as I'd like" newsletter - although I'm not exactly not hoping for that either - but to share that this very week held a reminder for me that I hope to offer to you.
Our everyday lives, including our limitations, are where God actually meets us as He invites us more deeply into His love and purposes. Kingdom participation by loving God and neighbors is not achieved in stepping aside of our limitations but rather in and through those limitations do we receive the specific ways in which God is calling us to follow him and love others daily.
This fall I hear myself, and us as a people, swinging back and forth between two poles. "There's so much to do that is good and right and I want to play a part" and "I am so wiped out. I'm at my limits. _____ threatens to undo me."
Sadly, blaming my cold brain here, I don't have any logistical solutions for you, although those may be necessary and wise! It's always worth bringing that to the Lord and trusted others in community.
What I do have for you is this: What would it look like for us to receive each day as full of the works he has actually and specifically prepared for us, through our limitations not despite them?
There is freedom in knowing that God knows your can-be-done list and your ideal-self-should-do this list. He also knows of the undercurrent of grief that ebbs and flows after loss, the physical constraints of autoimmune disease, the child needing more emotional attention in this season, the work season that has heightened, the ripple effects of generational brokenness in a family and the stomach bug that loves to disrupt our very good intentions and plans for discipleship and hospitality. He knows the stretched schedule and emotions as you care for aging parents, adjust to a newborn, deepen roots in a new community, endure financial strain, and make space faithful attempts to deal with past wounds and hurts.
He knows. He sees. He is not disappointed by our limits. Read that again! He is, though, inviting us to be honest about those limitations and entrust them to Him as we make sense of our often disoriented lives.
The good news is that in our hopes, our disappointments, and our limitations - it is God who is never surprised or on His heels. In our colds and our limited capacities, our reasons for heartache and for our rejoicing, let us rejoice that God delights in us regardless of our performance because we are fully secure in the person of Jesus Christ!
So deep breaths and maybe extra handwashing friends, He knows it all loves us deeply.