For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required... Luke 12:48
There are various words which I do not welcome in my vocabulary for they remind me of weaknesses within my very soul... like the word waiting. I was never very good at it, although practice is making it easier (if not welcome).
Recently I've been pondering another word which I've tried to hide from, walk around, leap over, and dig tunnels through for the past forty or so years. That word is.... shudder... limitations... the curse of the finite being.
I remember the first time I really felt the limitations of mind, body, and soul... in this case the mind. When I was growing up, I always loved science and read about all fields of science. I was particularly interested in space travel (probably the affect of Star Trek).
Science classes were just fine until I hit chemistry and quickly realized my lack of math skills were now in the way of my science studies. When I say lack of math skills I mean... really lacking... my brain has never been able to wrap itself around advanced math. Okay, I had trouble with math once we started multiplying fractions. I had to drop out of chemistry as well as physics the next year. Perhaps it is a good thing to make it to your high school years before hitting a brick wall because of limitations?
There were limitations along the way which came from good things happening in life... marriage and motherhood being two of them. Although motherhood didn't stop me much until Christopher was born in my thirties. Hubby and I took Stephanie just about everywhere with us, which is probably why she could converse quite well with adults at age six. :)
Just as I've learned waiting is a necessary part of life as I've become older, so are limitations. Instead of complaining about them... well, very much... I've learned to work around them. After a winter of being a couch potato, my energy level (which is not high these days, anyway) has been abysmal as I worked to rake layers of leaves off of the raised beds in the garden. It took two days to rake them off and I only gave a quick glance to the dead perennials needing attention in the yard... limitations!
Edith Schaeffer writes a great deal about limitations in her books. Except she talks about the finite-ness of our lives. For instance, she reminds us every time we choose to spend money in one area... we are choosing to not spend it in a variety of others. Time spent in one activity automatically means there is no time for others. (Probably the deepest subject on which she writes but what can you expect from a woman married to one of the greatest Christian theologian-philosophers of the 20th century?) But you must admit, it makes you pause and think...
Limitations have been a source of frustration in my life as the affects of time and illness have prevailed. There is so much more I have wanted to do that I cannot and no amount of wishing makes a difference. How I missed what I used to be able to do and that which I could accomplish.
But years ago during a quiet time, the above verse just popped out at me in a way you would not expect. There came a peace that truly passes understanding as I felt God Himself opened my eyes to a Truth I had been missing. For if He requires a great deal from one whom He has given much... He also is compassionate and understanding to those who are now lacking.
We can only do what we have the resources to accomplish and when there is a lack of health or finances or time or energy for whatever reason... He understands and does not expect what He does from one who is able to do more. We do our best with what we have, never stomping our feet and giving up... but knowing full well when enough is... enough.
When we are faithful with the little, He knows and understands. It is only when we choose to do nothing at all that we fail Him and ourselves. If it takes two days to clear the garden beds... so be it. If we can only pray and not go or do... so be it. If we only have a few dollars to send to the emergency relief... so be it. If dinner must be sandwiches and cut up veggies... so be it.
To whom much is not given... not as much is required.... and that is a source of great peace to the one who is weary or broke or ill or brokenhearted and leaning on the everlasting arms of God. I have learned to do the best and be the best with what I have been given and not fret over what I have not.