Welcoming my first child into my life expanded my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. So much love, so much joy, so much laughter. That new mom experience was, for me, both a soaring and a deepening. An expansion.
As a second child joined our family two years later, I
found myself being affected in a completely different way. If his
entrance taught me about big love, hers has taught me about human
limits. (Now, I feel compelled to offer this disclaimer before I say
anything else: what God has been teaching me since her birth has very
little to do with my daughter’s temperament or behavior and a lot to do
with how He is wanting to change my heart.) It has seemed that every
area of life is suddenly bounded by tighter restrictions than I am
accustomed to. Even though my love for the three other members of my
home is so great, I simply cannot be all that they need.
cramps me … there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep the little
bellies full of what is healthy, the house free of grime and clutter,
the spouse cherished, the hearts learning what is true, the minds
growing in knowledge and imagination, and the bodies rested and cared
Space confines me … I had never wished that I could be in two places at
once until necessity demanded that I leave my toddler occupied with
cartoons in one room of the house so I could try to get the crying baby
to sleep in another room.
My own frailty hems me in … I get sick. I get tired. I get grumpy.
of course, other limitations, such as finances, come into play as well.
It is wearying, an ongoing struggle to gracefully accept the
limitations that each day brings.
Why so many words about self?
Only to create a starker comparison between who I am and who God is.
That is what these limitations whisper to us: we are not and cannot, but
He IS and CAN. He is outside of time – He accomplishes ALL that He
wills to do. Nothing is forgotten or neglected. Space does not contain
Him – He is everywhere always. Nothing goes unnoticed and no one is left
alone while He tends to whoever needs Him most urgently. He is wholly
perfect – Holy. He has no limitations. It is staggering.
also how He intended it. Of course the curse of sin has brought
unceasing chaos into the whole picture of creation; but in the beginning
He created us to have limitations. Before the fall Adam and Eve were
bound by time and space. They had to eat and rest. Not all limits are
not part of the Fall; they are part of His loving plan. Thus, we find
freedom in them. They give us a beautiful freedom to choose only the
loveliest, the best, because that is all we have time for. A freedom to
wait for His strength to exhibit itself in our weaknesses. We weren’t
meant to be gods. We weren’t meant to spin universes like so many plates
swirling about our heads … not even the tiny universe that encompasses
our daily lives and loved ones.
He has given us the gift of
eternal childhood. Always depending on Him, always letting Him break off
bites of life small enough for us to manage while He takes care of
everything else. Always limited, but perhaps not by handcuffs that keep
us from doing and being all that we want. Maybe they are simply a gentle
hand holding ours and reminding us that we are the small ones and He
will take care of us.
“As a father shows compassion to his
children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he
knows our frame; He remembers we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14 (ESV)
(My latest devotional, which is up on Fellowship of NWA's Women in Ministry blog. Check it out for some reflection questions and to find more words of encouragement from other women.)