Does anyone remember those humongous, gigantic, colossal TV's from the 1980s? The kind that sat on the floor and had big huge, knobs on the front? (I'm aging myself here, I realize that...) As an adventurous and stubborn toddler, my favorite "game" to "play" with my parents was one of volume control.
Meandering casually over to the TV set, I gazed over my shoulder at my mom as if to say, "Gonna stop me?!" Raised eyebrows and a dramatic pause as I grabbed the volume knob in my chubby little hand and threatened her with an imminent increase.
"No, no, no," my mom would stay sternly, as she shook her pointer finger at me three times.
"No, no, no," I would repeat in the same tone. And then suddenly I would crank that volume up substantially and cackle with vicious laughter. Bwah ha ha ha. The toddler is in control of everything and everyone in her path!! Victory.
I've been striving for power (and perfection) for many years now. As God has strategically revealed my human limitations and utter lack of control, I've been striving to stop chasing the unobtainable and grab hold of the realistic. A peaceful place to rest my head, versus the fitful pursuit of satisfaction in my own sustaining power.
I am but a finite human, and God is an infinite being. The toddler in me has to give in, and give up every single day.
A wonderful book by Jen Wilkin called None Like Him elaborates on the idea of our human limits in light of an infinite God:
"Our whole lives as Christ-followers are to be given over to the identification and celebration of the limits God has ordained for us."
Did she just say to "celebrate" the limits that God has designed for us??
That's a tough pill to swallow. Excuse me while I choke on the rising distaste of, and rebellion against being told what to do. In my sinful soul I push back. I turn up that TV volume as loud as I possibly can just to be contrary. (It could be the Anne of Green Gables in me? Or perhaps contrary Mary from The Secret Garden?)
Celebrate limitations? Rejoice in being a powerless human? Acknowledge that God is God and I am not? How can this compute in my finite and pride-filled mind?
Pondering reveals that our limitations produce a reliance on our infinite, perfect God.
Without recognizable limitations would we seek out a God of comfort?
Without perceivable deficits in body and mind, would we look to an all-knowing God?
Without discomfort, uncertainty, and lack of self-sufficiency, would I even need a sovereign God?
Clearly not. I would go my own way- and so would you. Or we could give lip-service to God, but never truly concede control. Pretend to abdicate our thrones, but continue to rebel in our hearts? That's one way to go.
Thankfully Wilkin further clarifies an important purpose for our limits:
"Rather than being like God in his unlimited divinity, we are to be like God in our limited humanity. We are capable of bearing his image as we were intended only when we embrace our limits. Image-bearing means becoming fully human, not becoming divine. It means reflecting as a limited being the perfections of a limitless God. (emphasis mine)
I DO want to reflect a limitless God.
I DO want to bear His image as He intended.
But I don't really want to embrace my limits. That goes against my nature. However, committing every day to becoming more Christ-like means allowing God's intended limitations to become a blessing and a comfort.
Curling up in His almighty, loving, and perfect arms washes away the filth of my sin to reveal the limitations that God has placed over me in LOVE. The way He created me for fellowship with Him. The way He crafted my soul for peace and for comfort (2 Timothy 1:7). The way I long for Heaven where my limitations for praise and adoration will be gone. My sinful nature stripped away. Earthly limits undone.
Thankfully only God is God. I'll turn that TV down every moment of the day to hear His still small voice of comfort. To marvel at His infinite wisdom and love.
Isaiah 40:12- Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?