When we just can’t do it – reaching our limit

When we just can’t do it – reaching our limit

I’ve noticed an interesting stage in toddler development.  It is after they have learned how to stand and walk, but have yet to master the skill of jumping.  I’ve watched them as they intently study another older child jumping and do their best to imitate them.  Feet together, bend your knees and push.  Only in the toddler, their little push just makes them stumbling forward a little instead of leaving the ground.  Have you ever felt that same way?  That no matter how hard you try, you just can’t quite do it?  There is something you are trying to be, yet when it comes down to it, you can’t leave the ground?

There comes a time when we are face to face with our limitations.  I think we are all well aware of the fact that each person has different abilities.  Things that come naturally and only seem to get better with time.  We’ve each been taught numerous skills during our life. Things that help us with daily tasks or necessary functions.  There seems to be a certain understanding that abilities are something you are either born with or not.  It is probably the person that hasn’t been born with a particular ability that would insist that some things just can’t be taught or learned.

Somewhere along the way we’ve taken those beliefs about what things we can do and applied them to who we can be.  Maybe some of these phrases sound familiar:

“I’m just not a patient person”

“No one could be happy, in the midst of THAT!”

“I don’t care how I sound, it’s the truth”

“I just don’t love them anymore”

God has made each person unique with their own personality.  Some things do come more easily to one person than another, but there are certain things that God will produce in EVERYONE.  These are not things we do from the very start when we are born, but things that God helps us do when we have a personal relationship with Him.  God says He puts in spirit inside of us(1Cor 3:16) and that is what helps us to BE these things.

These things are:










But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a)

So when we are in a situation and we keep trying, but our feet are leaving the ground, we may have reached our limit.  But for these things God says that HIS SPIRIT produces them in us.  It reminds me of my toddler, trying so hard to jump, but not leaving the ground.  Then, I as her parent come and hold her hands and as she jumps I lift her off the ground and into the air.  It is my strength that is working through her effort.

In those tense moments when I am trying so hard to be patient, but I feel myself reaching my limits, I have to ask God help me to be what I can’t be on my own.  It’s tempting to just give up and decide it isn’t possible, but God tells us something different.  He promises that He will show us a way out of temptation.  So when we feel pressured to do what we know is wrong, He is promising to give us a way out, another choice, another option, so we can do the right thing with His help.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1Cor 10:13)

I saw my youngest the first time they tried to jump and finally left the ground.  I cheered loudly and I’m sure God is cheering us along too.


  1. Nicole Kauffman
    May 15, 2017

    Such encouragement here! I especially love this: “there are certain things that God will produce in EVERYONE”. I often do get so discouraged when I’m trying so hard to “jump” into patience or gentleness or kindness. I love your analogy of God cheering for us as we do. Praise God that He gives us His Spirit to guide us in this!

    • Bonnie
      May 15, 2017

      I’m so glad you were encouraged, Nicole. Aren’t you glad Jesus tells us his “yoke is easy and his burden is light” 🙂

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