In a women’s Bible study group that I go to, we recently discussed how God is infinite and we are created with limits. In Jen Wilken’s book titled None Like Him: 10 ways God is Different From Us (and why that’s a good thing), she devotes the whole first chapter to this characteristic of God. My mind is wired to think of the human body and how it was created in any given conversation, so naturally in discussing how we should understand our limits, I jumped to thinking about the way our bodies were made and what does that mean practically for us.
Understanding how God has created us is crucial to understanding how to live healthfully. Take sleep, for example. God made our bodies to need it, and when sleep is off–when we try to ignore this limit we have as humans–it effects our state of health. Eating usually works the same way. God created our bodies to need food. When we don’t eat enough food, or when we eat too much food, our bodies respond in a way that deviates from a state of optimal health. Our bodies were also created to move, not to be sedentary. It is amazing how we can push our limits to exceed what seems to be humanly possible, but Olympians do it all the time. However, reality is that bodies break down and ultimately have limitations.
Our whole lives as Christ-followers are to be given over to the identification and celebration of the limits God has ordained for us. He lovingly teaches them to us through his Word, through trials, through discipline. He humbles us through these means to remind us that we are not him, nor is anyone or anything else we know.
Jen Wilken, None Like Him
We don’t like to think we have limits, but those limits actually allow us to be more free. My husband reminded me of this illustration: if a goldfish is out of water because he wants to be free from the confines of his bowl, he will die. But when the fish is in the environment he was created to live in, he can swim freely and live. When we submit to our Creator and live within the limits that he has given us, we have the ability to thrive! Unfortunately, I don’t like to be told how to live –even if it’s coming from the infinite and eternal Creator of the universe. However, to try to fight against him and the limits he has given would be foolish and futile because who can know the mind of an infinite God?? Who am I to try to defy the parameters he lovingly put into my life? Who am I to think that I can eat as much as I want to eat, sleep as little as I want to sleep, exercise only when I feel like it, and then still expect to thrive physically? David writes in Psalm 139 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and therefore shouts praise to his God, his Maker. I want to celebrate — like David did and like Wilken writes about–my human limitations by living in a way that I was created to live and by giving our eternal and infinite God praise while doing so. I want to thrive like that little fish, don’t you?