Limitations Don’t Have to Limit

While Diann and I were hiking a trail in a national park out west we met an older couple also hiking the trail. I can’t recall if I was catching my breath and told him and his wife to pass or how we ended up standing there in a short conversation with them. Turns out he was 81 years old. He walked with a cane, but it certainly didn’t slow him down. Said he had both knees replaced and a hip replacement. He’d had a leg brace for many years. A while later, at the end of the path, I saw him head toward the bathrooms. One was marked “Handicapped,” but he didn’t use it; he entered the regular bathroom.

What a guy, I thought! He had all these physical issues, used a leg brace, and a cane but didn’t see himself as being handicapped! I want to be like him when I grow up to be 81 years old! (Just a note here: Handicap restrooms are vital and necessary for many people who would have a difficult time using a regular facility. I suspect this gentleman, during his recovery from his different health issues also used handicap restrooms. It’s just that, by God’s grace, he apparently no longer needed the special facilities.)

This elderly hiker with the cane and leg brace reminded me of the great truth that limitations don’t have to limit us! We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we respond to what happens to us! The degree to which limitations impact us has far more to do with our attitude than with the circumstances themselves!

There’s story after story in the Bible of people hitting up against difficulties of one kind or another. Part of each of these stories is about how God had a plan through it all for each of these Biblical characters in spite of those difficulties. As long as they kept faith in Him they saw God work things out for the good. It didn’t always mean it worked out the way the person wanted, but it worked out for the best, God’s greater good. The good news is that God calls us to unfold His unlimited possibilities within that which limits us!

“I have learned that everything has limits; but Your ways have limitless possibilities.” (Psalm 119:96, my paraphrase)

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