Limits. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be able to fly. Not just fly in an airplane, or in a parachute, or hang glider mind you. No, I wanted to be able to fly without any aides whatsoever, completely on my own. Maybe it was from watching too much Peter Pan when I was a kid, but this desire in me was one that I had for a long time and, admittedly, still kind of have to this day. I think it would be great to be able to just jump up and take off to the sky, towering over trees, swooping past buildings, and doing awesome aerial tricks through the clouds. It was this euphoric feeling I wanted that made me do something a bit strange when I was about 8 years old. It was a very windy day and I decided that this would be the day that I would fly. I had thought it all up, actually dreamt it all up, the night before. I took one of the sheets from my bed and made my way outside to our propane gas tank that stood a few feet off the ground. I climbed to the top, grabbed hold of both ends of the sheet and jumped. My expectation was that the wind would gust underneath my makeshift parachute and carry me just high enough so that when I would let go, I would be flying. Needless to say, my feet unfortunately hit the ground mere seconds after I jumped.
Now, this story from my childhood is completely ridiculous. All of you from the moment this story began knew what the outcome would be. Humans can’t fly on their own, much less with a bed sheet on a windy day! The ability of flight is one of the physical limitations that we humans have. It just can’t happen for a varied number of reasons. It does not take long for us to recognize that we have many limitations, some physical, some emotional, some mental, and some spiritual. We can’t always do the things we would like to do and many times this is our own doing. Humanity’s greatest limitation though is that we all struggle with sin and its evil desires. This limitation creates more than just a small problem that we just can live with, like not being able to fly. This limitation creates division between us and others and, ultimately, us and God.
Thankfully, God did not and does not leave us to mire in our limitations. He sent His Son, Jesus, to conquer all on our behalf and offer us His gift of grace that overwhelms our limitation of sin. It is Jesus’ perfect life and sacrifice of that life that is the key to our freedom. Hebrews 4:15-16 says that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we are welcome to come to Him, despite our many limitations and rely on His power to help us when we fail and fall short.
Ben will be bringing a message from God’s Word to us this Sunday, July 12th
Pastor Nick Mundis