By: Abby Watson
I needed a break.
My online grocery order had not gone to plan. After spending an hour on meal planning, selecting food in the app, and then going back to select replacements items (cause you know, an international pandemic), I was tired. But hey, I knew that in a few hours, we’d have food on our doorstep. And that felt certain. Normal. An anchor.
Ping! The first text from our personal shopper. No ground beef. Ping! Ping! The next text. No romaine lettuce. Would cauliflower do?
That’s gonna be a big no from me, Elizabeth.
With each challenge to my sense of normalcy, my anger grew. I couldn’t shake the feeling that life shouldn’t be this way. There are rules! Order! And nothing was going according to plan.
I quite literally ran away from my problems. Book-bag over shoulder, running out the door, jerking the car out of the parking lot to just get away. I parked in a shady spot downtown and breathed.
As a wise counselor once taught me, I observed myself without judgment. What that looks like is this: What am I feeling? Why am I feeling that way? And then sitting there with those thoughts without beating them into submission (as is my particularly charming habit). For this specific day, I asked, “Why did online grocery shopping send me into an emotional spiral?”
In her book, “None Like Him,” Jen Wilkin says, “We love autonomy and view dependence as a sign of failure, a flaw of some kind, a lack of proper planning or ambition…”
That’s exactly how I felt. My limits felt wrong. So I was surprised when she shared that God calls some limits good.
“Adam and Eve… had needs, both physical and spiritual, before sin ever slithered into the picture. God created them needy, that in their need they might turn to the Source of all that is needful, acknowledge their need, and worship.”
When the world was perfect, God called our limitations good. For me today, that means that even in my perfect world (fully-stocked grocery stores, better planning abilities, and no coronavirus) I would still be limited. And even looking ahead to the total renewal of the heavens and the earth, we don’t see needlessness. Rather, we see God meeting all of our needs. “He will be the sun,” is what Scripture tells us. It does not say that we live independently of his goodness and never needed help again, thank you very much.
He’s much too good to leave us like that. God’s presence is better than our independence. To trust and rest is even better than not needing at all.
He gives abundance. “I have come that they may have life and life more abundantly.” John 10:10
He lavishes immeasurable spiritual wealth. Ephesians 1
He knows our needs. “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …… your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32
He provides for our physical needs. “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Matthew 14:19-20
He himself is needless, yet gives to the needy. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands. Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17:24-25
He pours out good things. “This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
When I understand myself, I see my limits. When I look at God, I am reminded that the purpose of life isn’t to be better, smarter, faster, slower, more disciplined, and more flexible. God didn’t create us to be limitless. You and I were never meant to be this way. Instead, we are part of a better story, one for His glory and our good.
Abby is a 20-something believer with a penchant for black coffee, Meg Ryan rom-coms, and overthinking. In a world that offers chains and calls them freedom, she is passionate about sharing the ways that Jesus offers life and life more abundantly. She loves putting that passion in action through the local church, in the non-profit world, and of course, as a Wholehearted Writer!