The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden. He put him there to farm its land and take care of it. The Lord God gave the man a command. He said, “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17

When I was growing up as a kid, I pushed the limits in all areas of life. There were times when I would talk back to my teachers, blatantly disobey my parents, and steal posters from the book fair at school. Yes that really happened. It’s embarrassing to reveal, but it’s made me into the person I am today.

There is a particular situation that happened which has stuck out to me over the years. My parents had me in after school daycare as a child and I was that kid if you know what I mean. I was a hardheaded child and I loved to push the limits with every situation that arose.

One day an adult leader asked me to start sweeping the floor of the school cafeteria because it was almost time for everyone to leave. At first things were going well…until the leader wanted to show me how to sweep the floor in a more effective way. My response was “I know how to sweep a floor!” I literally yelled at this leader as a 5th grader. I had hit my breaking point. I was immediately sent to time-out in the corner of the cafeteria.

During this moment, I felt like my leader was evil. How could he tell me a better way to sweep the floor? Does he know who I am? How dare him! I thought that my leader was just trying to make me mad, but in reality he was trying to make me better. He wanted the best for me.

This is what we find in the Garden of Eden. God set a limit for man because God wanted the best for him and still does today. It’s not that God was being mean and withholding something good from Adam, but He was withholding something from Adam for his own good. God didn’t want him to die.

When we push outside the parameters that God designed for how we should live life on this earth, we reach a breaking point.

We like to push the limits. We think that our way is the best way and that God is trying to withhold something good from us, but the exact opposite is true. God gives us parameters to live life in because He doesn’t want us to hit our breaking point. He wants the best for His children. What in your life is pushing you to the limit? Is there something that needs to change that God has made you aware of? In what ways can you embrace the parameters that God has put into place so you don’t reach your breaking point?

Post originally published as a devotional for Port City Community Church.