Lessons in Limits From My Newborn
Four months ago a sweet little baby boy joined our family, and we could not be more thankful for him! After two previous births that did not particularly go the way I had hoped, I went into this one with a much better attitude, yet hoping. Still- baby boy, my body, or who knows what else did not cooperate and my hopes of a birth surgery-free went unfulfilled.
There is something about the idea that I can’t do something that is really hard to swallow. We live in a world where we are constantly told how we not only can have it all, but we should. The internet is full of bucket lists we must make, places you cannot miss out seeing, and experiences you must have. After all- You only live once?! right?
Except, that’s not reality. We all have limited time. We all have limited resources. We all have limited strength. When it comes down to it, due to personality, location, finances, our physical limitations, or any other number of events that happen to us that we have no control over- there are some things we just cannot do and won’t be able to do.
We all have limited time. We all have limited resources. We all have limited strength.
Now part of me hearing this wants to say, “Wait a minute!?! I want to be able to decide this stuff, this doesn’t seem fair!” But then I have to stop myself and actually think about it. Do I really want to be responsible for making all those decisions? Most days I can’t even decide what I want to make for dinner! 😉
In times such as these, I find huge comfort that these events and circumstances of my life are not a random event based on chance, but they are carefully and purposefully guided by an Almighty God.
I am reminded of the book of Esther, where God’s providence is so clearly seen in seemingly tiny but oh so important details in the story. Where a young girl was given the DNA before she was even born- to look beautiful to the King of Persia- so that she could be used in God’s plan to save a nation. Where a king’s sleepless night resulted in a chain of events that helped change a nation’s fate. And those are just a couple of examples.
I am also reminded of Psalm 139:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways….
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
All the days ordained for me are already written, they are already ordered! And who are they ordered by?
By the God who knows when I sit and rise. Who perceives my thoughts from afar. Who is familiar with all of my ways. Who knit me together in my mother’s womb.
My personality, the family I was born in, the place I was born, the immune system that would give me lupus, the three children and their little personalities, the natural skills I possess, and even this body that has required several surgeries- was all determined by a God who knows me, and knows best what I need. It is determined by a God who is not wasting anything, but is intricately using both those gifts and limitations, the assets and the seemingly liabilities- to draw me closer to Him.
Because it’s actually not all about YOLO. It isn’t about filling up our book with the best experiences we can, or even being about our best self now. It’s about laying down my desires of who I think I am or who I think I should be- and finding out who I am in the One who knows me better than I ever could dream of knowing. It’s about growing closer and closer to Him, until I realize that all these great experiences I long for in this life are only just a faint glimmer of the future to come in being with Christ.