Why God Needs to Have No Limits

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2018 18 Sep

An image of mountains in the distance. There is a band of blue sky, a band of mountains bathed in yellow light, and under that are mountains bathed in purple light, and in the foreground are some nearby mountains that are black.

Let me give you a quick quiz. Who in the universe can be described with the adjective “unlimited?” Okay, that was easy. We know God has no limits. Now here’s the second question. “Who in the universe keeps trying to co-opt that adjective for themselves?” If you answered “teenagers,” you would be right.

When I was barely out of my teenage years, I remember driving across Montana  with a friend. We loved the signs on the highway that admonished us to “Drive at a Reasonable and Prudent Speed.” To us that meant there was no speed limit. We could go as fast as our little hearts desired. So we did, crossing Montana in record time.

Unlike teenagers, God has no limits because he doesn’t need them. In fact, the reverse is also true. To state it rather awkwardly--God needs to have no limits or else he wouldn’t be God. If he were partially wise, for instance, he would make mistakes. If he were somewhat powerful, he would at times be weak. If he were usually trustworthy, he would not always be faithful.  Similarly, God is unlimited when it comes to time. Perhaps that’s why he never gets panicky, rushed, or frantic.

Two nights ago I had to get to the pharmacy before it closed. With no time to spare, I dropped my daughter at her karate class, drove to my mothers’ for a brief visit, picked my daughter up after her class, stopped at a fast food restaurant for sandwiches and chips, and then dropped her off at home. Just as I was backing out of the driveway on my way to the pharmacy, she came running out of the house, waving her hands. Knowing I had only a couple of minutes to spare I felt a knot of anxiety forming in my throat and then moving into my face, pinching it into a complaint as I rolled down the window to find out what was wrong. Luci had simply forgotten to take the chips out of the car and dinner couldn’t be enjoyed without them.

That tense little encounter with my daughter almost made me laugh except that it was so ridiculously sad. Yes it was good to deliver my daughter to her class, visit my mother, make sure my daughter got fed, and pick up the medicine we needed, but scheduling everything so tightly had sent me into a panic. I was making a big problem out of a little one.

Fortunately, the eternal God never loses perspective, never gets anxious, never feels pressured. He sees the scope of things from beginning to end rather than as we do, sequentially in time. As creatures bound by time, we are tempted to despair when God doesn’t respond to our prayers when and how we think he should. But our Eternal God sees beyond the desperate moment we are in and decides on the absolute best way to proceed given the circumstances. As Scripture says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)

Join me today in praying that God will ease your heart, helping you to trust him for all the small and large moments in your life—the times when you feel unable to do what you think you need to do. Ask for the grace of wisdom so that you can order your steps in a way that is pleasing to God.