We are imperfect and limited. God is perfect and unlimited.
How do these two truths work together?
Why did God make us limited? It wasn’t a cruel joke. He didn’t create us to gain some sort of satisfaction from watching us struggle. He also didn’t create us because He needed something from us. He has no ego that needs to be stroked. He doesn’t need to feel wanted in order to feel important. I have heard all of these comments about what kind of God our God must be.
God created us as limited so we could find Him.
Our imperfections and limitations were always meant to drive us to the Lord. He created us that way so we would reach out and find Him.
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else….God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. (Acts 17:25, 27)
We don’t have power, but He can be our power. We don’t know what to do, but He can be our wisdom. We can’t stand strong, but He can be our strength in all things.
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
He has always been the answer to each of our limitations.
This week I found myself overwhelmed by my limitations but then handed each of them to God with relief and rejoicing, with intention and faith. I prayed the bold print pieces below as I raised my arm to hand him each category. I have included my explanations of what each sentence meant. I didn’t have to tell God. He knew.
Lord, take my imperfect life and make it perfect.
My #1 fear is having any part of my life left unused for the Kingdom. I ask Him time and time again not to let any good thing that He has done in me or through me go unused. I want each good thing God has done with my life to become a seed that I leave behind when I die so God can continue to grow it for eternity. Nothing wasted.
Take my imperfect family line and make it perfect.
In His hands, my family tree (and yours) is part of a perfect master plan because all people were created on purpose by God. Generations led to each of us and generations will follow. The place where our specific imperfect family exists is perfect. We can trust God with the generation in which we live.
Take my imperfect home and make it perfect.
Though I want my family to come home and find respite from the world, our imperfect families make imperfect homes. My home (and yours) provides countless opportunities to learn how to love with God’s love. We all love people who are easy, but family relationships are deeply woven so they stick around even when we want to run. The intensity of connection naturally leads to more conflict, not less. We learn to stay, and we learn to love. (James 1:2-4)
Take my imperfect marriage and make it perfect.
When placed in His hands, what my marriage produces for the Kingdom will be perfect. I cannot speak to other marriages, so I will only speak of mine. The intimacy of an imperfect marriage has been used of God to improve my ability to stay calm in a storm, forgive, surrender my wishes, stay in a relationship no matter what, and show our children they don’t have to run away when things aren’t perfect.
Take my imperfect children and make them perfect.
My imperfect children (and yours) give us perhaps our greatest opportunity to trust. We will probably die before we see what God does with their lives here on earth, or maybe even die before we know if they will even come to know God. So we love fiercely and stay on our knees. We will someday see what He has done through our parenting and prayers. And it will be good. And it will make sense.
Take my imperfect relationships and make them perfect.
The seemingly chaotic swirl of people in my life (and yours) are my constant opportunity to build heaven and strengthen the church. My imperfect friends, neighbors and co-workers are glorious. The quirks, differences of opinion, varied ways of approaching life keep me on my toes. My friends keep me praying and depending on God to improve my ability to respond on the fly.
Take my imperfect body and make it perfect.
In His hands, the aging frame in which I exist (and yours) is perfect for His Story. I am struggling to trust Him with that. In His hands, sickness and injury give way to shine a unique light for Jesus as we suffer well and trust God. Right now some of my friends have cancer. I can assure each of them the world is watching. A person with cancer turns into a microphone that allows them to be heard and seen with more focus and clarity. We wouldn’t pick it for anyone, but the imperfect is perfect in His hands.
Take my imperfect personality and make it perfect.
I can be too much — too detailed, too intense, too loud, too literal. I know it. But I also know that only God knows the good purposes for which I was created. In His hands, my personality (and yours) is perfectly suited to the role I am to play in history.
Only in His hands do our limitations find purpose.
I have placed my limitations in His hands as an open invitation for Him to show up and glorify Himself. Nothing else makes sense of the nonsense.
Want to trust Him with your limitations too? He is worthy of our trust.
Picture Explanation: Some friends went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden this week and sent me pictures! So beautiful.
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