The only true limitation is our faith

Mr. Smith entered the bathroom flustered and disappointed again. He was an excellent Science teacher who had developed a great relationship with his students. He often stood after school many hours tutoring and helping with extracurricular activities. However every now and then you could sense a bit of disappointment. I could only speculate, perhaps it was struggles with a particular student, disagreements with administration or perhaps another possibility. Mr. Smith once upon a time had hoped to be a police officer.  However when he applied at the age of 28 they told him he was too old. He tells me that at the time he was ripped and in the best shape of his entire life. He absolutely knew that with proper exercise and eating right he could stay in pretty good shape for the next 20 to 25 years. But they simply said no. One time he explained how the guy behind the desk telling him of his ineligibility was overweight and obviously in no condition to be an officer himself. Sometimes limitations are hard to live with, especially when artificially imposed on us by some authority. However the human experience is filled with such limitations. Too old, too young, too small, too sick, not enough education, not enough preparation, not enough experience and the list goes on and on. Even in the natural world around us we experience limitations.  It is too hot, too cold, too snowy or perhaps too dark outside. By the time we are adults we expect limitations and assume that we cannot escape them. We sometimes go as far as to place limitations on God.

Jesus understood this. He knew that this overwhelming acceptance of limitations was a real faith killer. He also knew that if a person could just believe, great things would be possible, God willing. It is why he said “I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) On many occasions Jesus would tell a person the miracle was due to faith. (Matthew 9:22, Luke 18:42, Luke 17:19) However at times there was still a lack of faith, even among the disciples.

Jesus stood before an attentive crowd of people, (4000 men, perhaps more woman and children as well), Hungry to hear God’s word, hungry to see miracles, hungry for hope and hungry for FOOD. Jesus explained to His disciples the compassion he felt for the people who had faithfully stayed with Him for three days and were now hungry. (Mark 8:1-10) The disciples complained, “But we are far away from any town. Where can we get enough bread to feed all these people?” (Mark 8:4) I can only imagine what Jesus was thinking, “What have I been doing all this time with these disciples? Have they not seen me raise the dead, walk on water, heal the sick and countless other miracles. Do they not understand that God is capable of anything and everything?” God has no limits!

Jesus did not address their lack of faith this time, He simply asked for what little bread they had, seven loaves of bread and a few pieces of fish, blessed them and told the disciple to begin distributing. Matthew explains that after everyone had eaten they were still able to collect 7 baskets full of food from the leftovers.

This is a God that can start with nothing and make everything. A God that breathes life into the dead, makes whole the sick, stops the Universe and holds still the sun in the sky. This is the God that can raise Kings from shepherd boys and bring them down just as easily. He has no limitations and He can do all that is needed and more in each and every one of our lives. Sometimes the only true limitation is our faith.

 

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