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Shattering Assumptions

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9
Shattering Assumptions Book Cover

shattering assumptions

The disciples assumed a man born blind was being punished, so they asked in verse 2, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?”

The disciples’ worldview was simplistic. Painfully so. To them the man’s disability could only mean one thing: someone had sinned—which inevitably meant those with disabilities were little more than cautionary tales. Don’t do X or you might end up like Y. We like to believe we’ve progressed from the primitive ways of the first century. We know better, we tell ourselves. But if we’re honest, the disciples’ response is not unfamiliar to us. We default to it all the time. Something goes wrong—we get a flat tire, we lose our job, we struggle with chronic illness, we finally get pregnant only to hear the doctor say our little one will have a disability—and the question pops into our minds like a reflex, almost involuntarily—What did I do to deserve this?

So it must have come as a shock to the disciples when Jesus turned their worldview on its head and said, “No one.” No one sinned—not the man and not his parents. We can only imagine they weren’t prepared for Jesus’s answer in verse 3: the man was born blind “that the works of God might be displayed in him”? They didn’t have a category for glory. We still don’t.

god on display

We don’t need to be convinced that there’s something wrong with the world. We see it all around us. We feel it in our own lives. What we need is to be convinced that the works of God can be seen even in our limitations.

And we all have them. It’s what it means to be human: to be limited. Maybe our limitations are physical—like the man in the passage who was born blind. Or maybe our limitations are psychological—we struggle with depression or anxiety or both. Whatever they may be, more often than not, we think God’s glory can only be displayed in the removal of our limitations. So we come to passages like this one and we marvel at how Jesus gives the man the ability to see. We think that’s what Jesus means when He says the man was born blind “that the works of God might be displayed in him.” But the truth is, it is only through the man’s limitations that God’s glory is displayed. Because it is his very limitation that provides the opportunity for grace.

We think we have to be perfect for God’s glory to be displayed in us, but that’s a deception. Although it stands in direct contradiction to what many of us have been taught to believe, it is in our weaknesses that God is glorified. The works of God are on display not in spite of our limitations. The works of God are on display through our limitations. For as Paul taught, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is only then that we realize His grace really is sufficient for us. May we be like Paul. May we learn to find contentment even with our limitations. For only when we are weak can God be strong in us.


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Daily Question

What could it look like in your life to believe God can be glorified in your limitations?

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Comments (10)

I sometimes lament that I have been single all my life (I’m now 63). While I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may never have a spouse, I realize that God can use me in ways that someone with a spouse and family can’t be used.

I feel like I have so many limitations. I don’t feel qualified to do almost anything that God has allowed me to do, so I constantly feel like I have to depend on Him. This includes in work and in ministry. My main limitation that I struggle with is my brain…I constantly feel like I am so easily distracted and foggy-brained. I struggle to study the Word deeply or spend a lot of time in focused prayer or find motivation to do even things I should do. I struggle to feel confident, but I hope that this leads me to have more and more faith in my God’s ability, desire and plan to work through me, to glorify Himself through my weaknesses.

It would look like someone moving through life that is not to sure I’m qualified for what I’m doing. But bc of God I do it even if I’m afraid because I know God is carrying me through. He calls upon those who are hot messes. He uses our weaknesses in ways we can never imagine.

God can use my limitations to glorify him – to be strong & continue ministries & serving others with my limitations & not give up-forget pride & be humble even though I can’t do as much as I want to do physically.

I think as I go through my trials with limitations, God will continue to remind me that he is enough for me. This will allow me to become more dependent on him and let him do his will in my life. If I continue to go to the word daily I will find answers that I have been looking for.

That would take a lot of courage and bravery to be open and honest about my limitations. It would take a lot of faith to not be concerned with how people would react or turn away. But man, that would be some amazing faith to lean into God that hard.

There’s many different ways I could think about this question. The first that comes to mind are all of the big struggles that I’ve had in my life I know God was there and anytime I share stories of my struggles I really try to emphasize that it wasn’t me who got through the situations but it was only through God in his strength he gave me that I was able to overcome or stay true or aiming faithful to him. another way I think about answering this question is just my own personal limitations I’m trying to do everything on my own and sometimes people will say I don’t know how you can do all of that and sometimes I feel like I don’t know how I do all of that so in that way I feel like God is getting me through all the different situations and scenarios that I’m faced with on a regular basis. Overall I need to remember when I don’t have the capacity actually I really don’t ever have the capacity any capacity that I do have it is because of God and the strength and the wisdom that he gives me to get through things I should be giving him more glory on a daily basis not just the big things in my life but the every day things give him the glory for all !

Knowing that he is in control. I want to be in control over things and feel like if I am not that it won’t get taken care of. I am learning to release that control, to do what I am to do, or can do and then the rest is in his control. I don’t need to do it all, he wants to take that stress from me and so many times I try and hold onto it where is physically makes me sick. This has been lodge changing for me, to realize my limitations and let him be God.

Honestly I don’t know. This is a hard question I like it it’s very pondering but right now I don’t know. I will pray about it though because I would like to know how I can glorify in my limitations.

He is currently being glorified in my limitations. He is showing up big and teaching me to have a bold faith. I am waiting for healing and "in my weakness, God is strong"

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