When I woke up this morning the first words on my heart were…
I was thinking about these three words and realized that if we could just consistently learn to do this, our lives would go so much more smoothly. Our lives and our days might still be filled with problems and challenges but if we could just commit to leaning into Him everyday…we would discover He is more than able to support our weight and carry our heavy loads.
This whole idea of leaning reminded me of a joke I have heard all my life. Many people have felt compelled to share it with me over the years. I’m sure you’ve heard it.
What do you call a girl with one leg shorter than the other? Eileen (I lean) snort, snort!
That joke made me think of something today. Limitations are designed to help us recognize and remember to depend on the One who is capable of bridging the gap. Our weaknesses help us to realize our need for someone stronger than ourselves.
I think about the Apostle Paul and all of his limitations. First it was his experience on the road to Damascus when God temporarily took away his sight. It was only then Paul acknowledged his great need for God. Paul was to be God’s “chosen instrument”. He was a murderer, an a persecutor and he was to bring the Good News to the Gentiles. Talk about a resume full of limitations! Not only that but I’ve also read that Paul didn’t even look or sound like a leader. His voice was high-pitched and he was vertically challenged….he was no Billy Graham!
His list of limitations goes on and on. He had to preach from prison on many occasions. God limited his mission field to a dark little cell and said…live for me. Tell others about me.
He was even given some sort of disability. Most scripture translations refer to it as a “thorn in his flesh.” It was a constant reminder to Paul of his need to lean into Him.
My question is this. What is your thorn? What are your limitations? How is God asking you to lean into Him today so that He can turn these limitations and weaknesses into strengths?
He is more than able to bridge that gap!
I love the Message version of these familiar verses in 2 Corinthians.
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it.
Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”