Brushes with God: the blueprint

By Dave Henning / May 23, 2024

“My heart was full because God gave me context for my limitations.  I saw the blueprint: this was meant to be.  Brushes with God do that.  They settle us . . . give us perspective.  They bring confusion into order and make sense of what feels senseless.”- Sara Hagerty (emphasis author’s)

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”- 1 Peter 4:12-13 (ESV)

In Chapter 4 (“A Brush with God”) of The Gift of Limitations, Sara Hagerty observes that what once angered her or made her feel overlooked now gave her pause.  A pause in which she felt safe.  Because she knew God directed her life.  As a result, Sara didn’t need to orchestrate the details of secure the variables.  Instead, she could allow life — as arranged by God — to happen to her.

Put another way, less obligation, more receiving.  So, even our worst fear crouching at the door of our circumstances fails to do what we always believed possible.  Because Jesus limited Himself so that:

  1. He might not only be Lord over our limitations, but also –
  2. know intimately how it feels to have them.

Consequently, Sara advises, Jesus understands your pittance of a paycheck not only in theory but in skin.  As John Donne preached in a Christmas Day sermon in 1626:

“Others die martyrs, but Christ was born a martyr.  He found Golgotha, where he was crucified, even in Bethlehem, where he was born; for to his tenderness then the straws were almost as sharp as the thorns after, and the manger as uneasy at first as the cross at last.”

In conclusion, Sara counsels, Jesus took limits upon Himself.  However, we tend to resist, resent, work against, and attempt to overcome our limits.  But as Jesus reaches for us, He leans into our limits.  In rising from the dead, Jesus overcame those limits.

Today’s question: When have you perceived brushes with God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “This God who reaches within”

About the author

Dave Henning

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