The Peace of Knowing I’m Limited
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
- Isaiah 40:11
Here is something I am trying to learn: I am limited. I have limited strength and understanding. I have limited physical, emotional and financial resources. Because of my limitations, at times I feel weak, frightened, lost and in need – kind of like a sheep with his head stuck in a bucket.
The image the Bible uses to remind us we are limited is in fact the image of sheep. In the grand scope of all the animals God could choose to represent the human race, sheep are about as limited as they get.
I mean imagine what it would communicate if God picked tigers as an image to describe the human race. Tigers are strong, cunning and dangerous. If you heard tigers were loose in your neighborhood you would stay inside.
But if you heard sheep were loose in your neighborhood you would try to feed them. You might even try to ride one. Why? Because sheep are weak and needy.
In the Bible, God says we are like sheep. He does this not to be mean but to be truthful. We are limited, weak and in need.
The image the Bible uses to remind us of Jesus’ willingness to help us is the image of a good shepherd. As a good shepherd Jesus searches for us when we are lost, he strengthens us when we are weak, and he binds us up when we are broken.
Even still when Jesus comes to us we often get frightened. Like foolish sheep, we tend to think he has come to take away our freedom, and destroy something good in our lives. So we run from him and the help he offers. Still Jesus pursues us, seizes us, throws us over his shoulders and carries us home.
Typically it is only when we are home again that we realize Jesus wasn’t trying to hurt us – he was saving us and bringing us back to the place where we belong.
So today I am trying to learn a new habit. Each moment that I come face to face with my limitations I am saying these four words : “Jesus I need you.”
I don’t know what will happen as I do this but I am hoping these four simple words will help me acknowledge that in every circumstance I need Jesus. I am hoping that instead of seeing my limitation as a bad thing, I start to see them as opportunities to grow in trusting Jesus so that I place more of my life in his hands, which of course is where my entire life belongs. After all, he is my Good Shepherd and I am in need.