This past Sunday was an exciting day for me because my brother and sister in law dedicated their baby daughter in the second service. Ara Faith is pretty much everyone’s favorite person right now and it was incredibly special to stand up there with Dan and Holly as they declared that Ara belongs to God.
I thought that was that, but after the service I started connecting the dots between Ara’s dedication and Nate’s sermon about knowing our limits and how God wants the gospel to shape our limits.
It’s so easy to take what God calls our limits and call them something else instead- like failure or incompetence or not trying hard enough. We’re a culture of go-getters and nothing is supposed to be able to stand in our way. Of course, that isn’t how it really works and we end up discouraged and frustrated, always a few steps away from the life we think we’re supposed to have or the person we think we’re supposed to be.
Despite that reality, finding freedom in my limits still seems like a ridiculous contradiction. I think it’s because I usually associate freedom with independence, and independence means I control everything and never have to give up. (I’m pretty sure that kind of thinking reveals that being American shapes my theology more than the Bible does, but that’s a WHOLE OTHER STORY.)
Okay, back on track- finding freedom in our limits. I can’t think of a better practical example of the joy and blessing that comes from knowing your limits than what I saw in Ara’s dedication. I loved seeing the tangible action that Dan and Holly took because they know they cannot give Ara everything she needs. They cannot completely protect her; they cannot shape or control her or her life to make it perfect or happy. They acknowledged that reality and gave her back to God and in doing so they experience the freedom of not having to perfectly accomplish those things alone.
I’m not a parent but I do know that nothing is ever that easy and simple. But I think maybe that’s the beauty of knowing your limits. Limits don’t mean the end of everything, they’re just the end of our capabilities and the place God can step in and do something more.
I’m excited to begin this process of embracing my limits – not as failures – but as opportunities to step out in faith and know that God will meet me there.