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We’ve all heard it.
Some of us have said it.
The company I work for banks on it.
Inventors are looking for it.
Think outside the box!
Think outside the box! Be innovative! Throw the envelope away! Innovate! Innovate! Innovate!
Several weeks ago we were in Statesville and walked to our daughter’s downtown, storefront church, Grace Covenant. This Four-Square fellowship offers awesome praise and worship and a solid, Biblical message. This day was no exception. The title of the message was “Leveraging our Limitations.”
Limitations? But, wait a minute. Aren’t we always telling ourselves and our children, “You can do anything you want to do.”
Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12.7-10
Pastor Paul used the Apostle Paul to make the point that there are times ‘our limitations are our ministry.’ It was a light bulb moment for me.
I love to write. I love to blog. I love to make books. These are three things inside my box. The box God gave me years ago and told me to use for His glory and He would do the rest. I thought “the rest” would look differently. But, alas, it does not. Yet, I am convinced it looks exactly the way God intended it to look.
You see I cannot take what’s in my box and make it look like so and so. I cannot make it sound like such and such. What’s in my box is as much a part of my DNA as my skin cells are! And, when we take our box and carefully unwrap it and use each and every gift and talent our good, good heavenly Father packed inside it? We can be sure we are fulfilling His perfect plan in our life. Complete with the thorns of imperfection: the shakes, the stutter, the imperfect eyesight, the impaired hearing, the limp, the illness, and whatever else you can identify inside your box.
I am not you.
You are not me.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139.14-16
Thank you for the box You created just for me. I love its content and creativity. You do all things well. You knew what I could do before I even took a breath – in the dark emptiness of love unknown. Everything about me was planned with the precision of a sculptor’s blade – the box You gave me has every tool I need to fulfill my God-given destiny. May I use them well. (my words)
What does your box contain? Use it well. Embrace the limitations and let God get the glory as He blesses you with His goodness.
If you struggle knowing “what’s in your box?” Get serious in prayer and ask God to reveal it – He is faithful when we ask.
[Do try to take the time to watch this Ted’s Talk – it illustrates the message quite well.]