Learning to Respect My Limits

Gina Butz dependence on God, identity, rest 2 Comments

learning to respect my limits

photo by Ilya Ilyukhin

Limits. I hate them. I push them. I want to believe I am a superwoman who has no limits. And then every once in awhile (more frequently in recent years) God pulls me aside and reminds me that I do in fact have limits, and that they are good. I should respect them.

I sat down to write about this recently, and realized I already had about a year ago, on my friend Dayle’s blog (see what I mean about God reminding me over and over?). So here is what He continues to teach me:

Our dog Scout begins her daily exercise like her tail’s on fire. We’ve resorted to biking her – walking is just not her pace. Still, she runs so fast out of the gate that she can pull us. I watch her and think, “That can’t be comfortable. She’s choking herself.” Yet many times, toward the end of the ride, I am the one having to urge her along. I can only bike so slowly before falling over, after all. If only she had paced herself.

I’m just like her though. I am not a respecter of my own limits. Physical, mental, emotional – I push them all. I have a lot of passion and ambition, and those are good things, except when they lead me to strain at the leash and pull in directions God isn’t leading me. And the natural consequence? I run out of steam.

If only Scout knew that I know how far we are going every day. Then she might trust my pace. If we’re taking the short route, it’s fine for her to run faster, but we’re usually taking the long back road and it’s not for sprinting.

If only I would trust that God knows where He’s taking me. He knows how far we’re going. He knows the limits He has given me and wants me to live within them. He knows that if only I kept His pace the journey would be so much more pleasant for both of us. If only I would take the time each day to listen to what He has for me, and agree that it is good, and it is enough, and that the tasks that won’t get done will be the path for another day.

Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” I need Him to show me step by step, moment by moment where the boundaries are for me, and I need to walk humbly and obediently in them, trusting that the good shepherd knows me and knows my way.

What about you. Are you keeping pace with Him?


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