In Your Helplessness

I’m loving what I’m learning about becoming weak to become strong. The counterintuitive way Paul writes about boasting in weakness to manifest God’s power more and more makes sense to me as I grow older, as I endure difficult situations, or as I step out in faith to work as God leads. I’m embracing helpless feelings; finally, I’m starting to get it. Helpless means I’m living by faith. Helpless means I’m relying fully on God. Helpless means that Christ shines, not me. How glorious and freeing to live a helpless life! 

As I’m thinking about these things, I write in my journal how I lived helplessly all weekend. I drove a rental car by myself to Ohio. I felt helpless against what felt like a treacherous drive at times on I80. As a traveling public speaker, I stay alone in hotel rooms, feeling helpless and homesick. I stand up on stages in front of many people; I feel helpless to say the thing their soul really needs. When I walk up the steps to the podium, I say in my heart, “I am helpless. You are everything, Jesus. I bring nothing but You.” And guess what? Something happens that I don’t orchestrate or manipulate.

I turn to Hannah Whitall Smith’s words about being an instrument in God’s hands. She writes, “The strength of an instrument lies in its helplessness. Because it is helpless to do anything of itself, the master can use it as he pleases.” Earlier, she explains that “the moment resistance is felt in any tool” that’s the very moment it becomes utterly useless to the master. What a picture of lying still in the Master’s hands, helpless and dependent, so God can perform His mysterious and marvelous work.

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