“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every aspect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
I am not a fan of limitations.
Apparently, my daughter feels much the same way. This fact became painfully evident as we undertook the all-important job of decorating her Valentine’s Day “mailbox” where she would receive cards and candy from her elementary-school classmates on February 14.
Her creative little heart worked for hours at our kitchen table — cutting, painting, coloring and finally gluing on all her ornate creations of felt puffs and pipe cleaners. But as she found out the hard way, there’s only so much a bottle of glue can do.
When her mental masterpiece turned out to be a dismal disaster, that sweet baby lay on the floor and cried her big blue eyes out. I’m not the crafty-mom type — but even if “Miss Pinterest” herself showed up at our door, this mailbox was never going to look the way my daughter had envisioned.
The limits of glue and gravity left her heartbroken, discouraged and defeated.
Boy, can I relate to those feelings. I wonder if you can, too. Our world preaches the gospel of “you can do anything” and “transcend your limitations” — yet deep in our souls, we know this gospel is false.
We face limits in our bodies, minds and jobs every day. We experience roadblocks in our relationships. We reach the end of our talents. And when we regularly run into limitations of our character — like those temptations we can’t seem to resist — our confidence wanes.
We may even begin to wonder if our limitations render us unusable to God. When we beat our wings against the walls of our weaknesses, Satan taunts us with the fear that we’ll never measure up to our own standards — much less God’s.
But God knows we can’t measure up on our own; that’s why He sent His Son, Jesus.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Graciously, the writer of Hebrews reminds us how much our Savior relates to and sympathizes with our humanity. Jesus was fully divine, yet we can’t forget He was also fully human. Like us, Jesus became tired and hungry. He experienced temptation. (Luke 4:1-13) He wept from heartache. (John 11:35) He fully understands the limits of our humanity.
And still — He calls us into Himself. He says, “I understand, and I have the mercy and grace you need most.” (Hebrews 4:16)
As we invite Jesus into our limitations, prayerfully answering these questions can help us make progress and grow in faith:
1. What do I believe this limitation prevents me from achieving or becoming? God often uses our weaknesses to reveal areas of misplaced trust or idolatry. Are we looking for worth in a particular relationship? Are we putting our confidence in our accomplishments? Asking these questions can help us root out beliefs and motivations that may be hindering our growth.
2. What lesson or truth might God be trying to teach me through this limitation? Our shortcomings frustrate us, but more often than not, they are packed with important lessons. We can better hear God speaking new spiritual insights into our hearts when we take a step back and ask Him for wisdom.
3. What specific scriptures can I pray over my heart? God’s Word is full of Truth that equips us for any and every weakness we encounter. We can invite the power of His Word into our weak spots by praying specific verses over them.
It’s easy to feel like our limitations disqualify us from meaningful Kingdom work, but what if we rejected the enemy’s lies and began to view our weaknesses through a different lens? What if they’re not simply something to cover up or conquer but are an invitation into deeper fellowship with the God who understands and loves us?
Dear one, our shortcomings don’t have to hold us back or rob our joy. Here’s the beautiful truth: When our limitations lead us to Christ, our souls find the comfort they crave. So today, may we willingly lean into our limits and let the strength of our Savior carry us through.
Dear Jesus, thank You for understanding our weaknesses and loving us through them. Please open our eyes and minds, helping us learn to see our limitations as an invitation into deeper fellowship with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Today is the last day of our 31 Days of Giving, and we’re almost to our goal of raising $310,000 and sharing Truth 38,130,000 times! When you give to Proverbs 31 Ministries, you are joining us as we provide space for women like you to process, ask questions and find Christian community through our free resources, Online Bible Studies and First 5 app. Will you help us continue to provide free biblical resources to you and other women like you by donating today? Click here to give now!
Connect with Meredith over at Instagram, and be sure to grab your free download of “20 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Limitations.”
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 103:13-14, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lᴏʀᴅ shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (ESV)
What limitations are you currently facing? Do you struggle with believing God understands and has compassion for you? Share your thoughts in the comments, and let us pray for you!
© 2022 by Meredith Houston Carr. All rights reserved.
What We Believe
If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.