Lutheran Church Extension Fund

By God's design, your physical limitations keep you humble.

Monthly theme: Humility.

Reading time: two minutes.

Adam was created a weakling. God declared it “very good.”

Maybe “weakling” is a bit severe, but he was created with distinct limitations.

He couldn’t do it all.

We don’t know Adam’s capacity for bench press, but his strength was not unlimited. His body required nourishment, and God provided. The creation of night and day, and the establishment of a day of rest seem to suggest that Adam was not boundless in energy either, but God provided the gift of sleep.

Even before his fall into sin, Adam was tightly bound by the limits of space and time. And God called it very good.

You’re limited too. It’s still good.

Because our limitations keep us humble.

Jesus taught us to pray for daily bread, with humble hands outstretched to receive the Father’s gifts each day.

The Catechism reminds us how needy we are. “Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”

We’re dependent and needy. The beginning of humility is to remember that God is God and I’m not. Isn’t that what proved to be Adam and Eve’s downfall? Waking each day dependent upon a loving God for all of life and life’s bodily needs puts us in a good place; a receptive, humbled place.

Striving after physical health and strength is a godly discipline, but be careful about your motivation.

Too many people in our day strive hard for an overly-idealized body shape (that’s actually not very healthy), or for fitness and health for selfish reasons. We live in an idolatrous society that promotes health and fitness purely for matters of self-image, self-glamorization, and self-benefit.

A humble heart accepts the limitations of our created nature under the providence of a loving Creator, and makes healthy choices for a different reason.

“For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.”

Wise stewardship of “this body and life” is an act of worship, an act of gratitude, and an act of obedience for the sake of service.

Face it, you can’t do everything.

You are designed with divinely appointed limitations to your capacity, and restricted further by the physical deterioration of a fallen nature. Afflictions, illness, injury, and age all serve to remind us of our limitations.

But when we tend to our physical wellbeing for the sake of kingdom service, we honor God with our bodies. We stay fit not for our own sake, but so that we’re able to respond when God calls us to serve in family, in church, and in community.

That’s response-ability.

It’s rarely easy. Life in these frail bodies of ours is humbling.

And that’s good. That’s very good.

Thanks for reading.