• Jeremiah was limited by a melancholic temperament.
• John the Baptist was limited by his simple, semi-monastic life in the desert.
• Abraham was limited by having only one son with Sarah.
• The 12 disciples were limited in feeding 5,000 men (15,000-20,000 people) with only five barley loaves and two fish.
Limits are often simply God’s gifts in disguise, which makes them one of the most counterintuitive, difficult truths in Scripture to embrace. It flies in the face of our natural tendency to want to play god and run the world. But it remains a steady truth, and one I have consistently experienced.
We see only a small part of God’s plan at any point in time. His ways are not our ways. But what he does in and through our limitations is more than we could ever accomplish in our own strength.
Take a few minutes to reflect on the four characteristics: defining success as radically doing God’s will, creating a space for heart preparation, praying for prudence, and looking for God in our limits. When you consider the challenges you face in your own leadership, which one speaks to you most? What fears or concerns do you have when you imagine implementing this into your leadership? What are the short-term costs of stopping, turning and doing something different? What might be the long-term implications if you don’t?
If you are willing to take the risks and live with some temporary disorientation, I can promise you that God is waiting for you there.