“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Well, not really. I can’t do ALL things. Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl ring earlier this month, but I’ll never win one ring. I know and understand my limitations. I’ll never play for a major (or minor) league sports team. I also won’t sit first chair (or any chair) in any orchestra. I won’t have a radio talk show like Rush Limbaugh, and I’m not a builder, either. I know what I know, I accept what I can (and can’t) do. Limitations are real and built into life.
God plans what happens and brings it to pass. He forms light and creates darkness; He makes well-being and creates calamity. He determines the foundations of the earth and its measurements. He determines the number of the stars and gives them names. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. God sets and determines limits according to His plans and purposes. He sets geographic limits on nations and personal limits on individuals. He limits the wind and waves, the sea, the reigns of kings, and determines man’s days. He appoints limits that you cannot pass. God is sovereign and in control over all the nations throughout all history and future. This is who God is and what He does. It’s good to know your limits. It’s good to know God’s limits. It’s good to know God is a God who limits.
And yet we overcome obstacles. In a sense we can surpass our limits. We CAN do all things. David defeated Goliath. Joshua wins the battle of Jericho. Roger Bannister was the first runner to break a four-minute mile. Herman Cain was from a poor family but got an education and became the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Rush Limbaugh dropped out of college and pioneered AM talk radio. A good friend says, “Attitude determines altitude.” Too many times we set up our own limits and fail to achieve what is “impossible.”
What am I saying? What did Paul mean when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?” On the one hand we have limits, on the other hand not. In either case, success and contentment and purpose and meaning in life is faithfulness. Recognize your God-given limits while at the same time striving and pushing forward to be all that you can be. Paul faced his limits and said, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Rely on Christ’s power and follow His example to face all circumstances with contentment.