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Last Friday a wicked storm blew through Maryland knocking out the power of close to 650,000 households, with mine being one of them. Being without power has been challenging because of spoiled food, and a lack of air conditioning to save us from the high heat and humidity in the area. Fortunately, one of our neighbors has a generator and has allowed us to utilize their refrigerator. We are also luck that our basement is finished and cool. What is probably a very difficult situation for many, has just been a little uncomfortable for me and my family. We still have clean, running water, a house over our heads and a toddler that will make any situation seem joyful. On top of those blessings I’ve found the limits of being powerless has allowed me to sleep more because there is no television or Internet to keep me up. Having no power has encouraged me to talk more with family and read books that had been gathering dust. And lastly it’s pushed me to talk to neighbors I might ignore because I’m in a rush to beat the heat and stay inside.
It’s within limits where we will find true freedom. Right now in your ministry you are facing limits that have probably caused frustration, anxiety and are pushing you to reconsider your calling. Instead of fighting what you should do is:
SURRENDER TO YOUR LIMITS
Your limits help you find out who you are and they allow you to reach your full potential. But, to recognize this can be difficult because we are constantly:
- COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS: Rachel Blom of Youth Leaders Academy wrote a great post (read it here) on how important it is to be the unique person God has shaped you to be. You are not the youth pastor down the road and nor should you try to be that person. Value their gifts and talents; however, look at yours as being just as valuable. After all God gave them to you.
- RELYING ON WHAT’S SAFE: When you play it safe you are just setting yourself up for frustration. A safe ministry will see limits as stressful, instead you need to see them as a new challenge to grow. When you take the challenge you grow because you are thinking outside of the box and learning new things about yourself and your ministry.
- STUCK IN THE TRENCHES: There is always a bigger picture to what is going on around you and this can lead to frustration. Sometimes we need to take a step back to see the bigger picture. This way we won’t see the limits as a prison but a constraint to keep us on task for something bigger.
Sometimes limits are there to point us back to God. If we are constantly fighting, blaming and hiding from the limits in our life we will only find ourselves traveling in circles. If you struggle with surrendering find people will walk with you, take time to hand them over to God and sit in the tension. It’s in the times when we feel weakest that God’s grace will be most evident in our life. Don’t fight it.
How do you work with the limitations in your ministry?