Sunday, November 17, 2013

A God with no limits

Nothing is automatic.
A couple of weeks ago I fell and broke my right arm near the wrist.   A week ago, I had surgery, after which, my highly accomplished surgeon declared my break to be a tough fracture.  Then he looked me in the eye and repeated, slowly, “tough fracture.”  I think that was his polite way of telling me to take it easy and allow my poor old bones to heal.  Or, it may have had something to do with my brief notion that I would be good to fly to Chicago two days after surgery
I have spent entirely too much time in bed, my arm on a stack of pillows and my attention focused on vintage television shows with commercials geared toward senior citizens.   A Life Alert subscription is starting to sound like a good idea. 
My life the last few weeks has taxed my brain almost as much as taking a 900 level stats class.  I am managing my daily routine using only my non-dominant hand.  This means that nothing is automatic; I have to pre-think every little action.  Anything one might do in the bathroom, for instance, is just one sweet little adventure after another.
It took me a week and a half to attempt driving because I could not pre-think every step.   After much practice, I can now write semi-legibly, but it still requires me to think through each stroke.   I have a tendency to run out of room on the line because I am not good at thinking ahead.  I have re-learned dressing and undressing skills and by the end of the week I need to conquer showers and hair washing.   By Sunday I fly to California to present at a conference.   It would be best for me to be clean and respectable.

The ability of the brain to reduce everyday activities to automatic movements  is a wonderful gift of God’s design.  We have thousands of scripts and schemas that routinely click into place as we go about our day.  Complicated actions such as shoe tying and driving become things our bodies can do, seemingly without thought.  This automaticity allows us to get things done while taking in and processing new information.  We are able to realize we are running late while tying shoes, or break to avoid hitting a cat dashing across the street while driving to work.  Automaticity is really an amazing gift.  Trust me, I know.

We have small workbenches in our brain that would easily be overwhelmed if we did not have so much that we can do automatically.  God, however, is omniscient or all-knowing.  He has no limit to what He can do, what He can understand, what He can remember.  Nothing He does is automatic.  Everything He does is deliberate, purposeful, and fitting.  He has no limits. 

I lose my patience so easily when trying to do something new.  God has no limit to His patience.

I lose trust so easily when I cannot see the road ahead.  Yet, there is no limit to God’s power, or to His love and care for me. 

I worry over the dissertation that does not seem to be typing itself.  But, God is, was, and is to come.  He already knows the outcome.  How puny my brain is in comparison to my God.  I am happy this is so.  When faced with my own limitations, it is much better to rest in the hands of a God without limits.

Today, we are in prayer for a bright, beautiful, limitless, six-year-old named Anna.  She is having emergency heart surgery.  We know that her Heavenly Father cares for her and holds her in His hand. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;  he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:10

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high and see:  who created these? He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.  Isaiah 40:25-26