I mentioned the other day that a recognition of our limitations is the entryway into relationship with the Divine. That came up because we were mentioning the Sermon on the Mount. I don’t know that I’ve ever phrased it exactly like that before, but the understanding comes from a professor I had in Seminary: Prof. Jeffery Gibbs. He understood the beatitudes as nine descriptors of followers of Jesus. We all mourn, are meek and want to be righteous. We all are merciful, pure in heart and are peacemakers. Of course not perfectly or all the time. Professor Gibbs said this is why “Blessed are the poor in sprint for theirs is the kingdom of God,” came first. That affirmation points to the reality that, with respect to spiritual things, we are all poor. We can not will ourselves to be merciful or pure of Heart or peacemakers perfectly, all the time. We don’t have the resources to manage appropriate meekness in every situation we can’t always conjure a desire for righteousness. If we’re going to approach living like followers of Jesus, we’re going to have to recognize our limitations. Jesus is saying those ones are gifted life in the kingdom of God.
This has born out in my life. I experience the fruit of the Spirit much more readily in seasons where I’m aquatinted with my limitations. Where I’m not trying to be the sole arbiter of my future, or the chief architect of my provision, or the infinite font of love for all the relationships in my life. When I’m able to recognize I have limitations and receive from God rather than perform for God, things go better. I can follow God’s outline for life today and trust the future to him. When I can believe in God’s care, I’m free to work as an outgrowth of creativity and service rather than as slave. I’m able to rest in God’s love for me and for others as the glue in relationship, when I can admit my shortcomings and give/receive forgiveness.