Devotion for Monday, June 8
So we do not boast about the work that others have done beyond the limits God set for us.
Instead, we hope that your faith may grow and that we may be able to do a much greater work among you, always within the limits that God has set.
Stay-at-home order - that limits our freedom. Some say that's too much to ask. That limits our ability to stabilize the economy. It keeps us from seeing our families. It keeps us from our planned vacations. Wear a mask in public - that limits our freedom. We can't see people smile. They make our glasses fog. They're hot. We cautiously approach our friends - or maybe we don't get anywhere near them. We're limited by the choices available in the supermarket, the stores open, we know all of this by now.
These limitations also limit the spread of COVID-19. They force us to spend more time with our immediate family. We learn to survive with much less. We learn to depend more on our relationship with God. We have a whole new understanding of that thing called
The Apostle Paul knew about limits. In 2 Corinthians, he tells us: "Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked. And, besides other things, I am under daily pressure because of my anxiety for all the churches." I think that qualifies him to speak to us about accepting limitations. That statement comes from the fifth chapter of that 2 Corinthians, but look at what Paul says in the tenth chapter. He talks to us about
hope. He writes:" We
hope that your faith may grow and that we may be able to do a much greater work among you, always within the limits that
God has set. That's where I have to live - in
God, our Father, Creator and Sustainer of life, thank you for the hope that does not disappoint us. Teach us the lessons we need to learn from our limitations. Guide us to new opportunities and to look for new ways to serve you. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.