The Power Of Helplessness

helplessnessRomans 5:6 “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

C.S. Lewis writes that “security is mortals’ greatest enemy.” I hate to admit it, but I think he’s right. Nothing keeps me on the edge more than a sense of desperation. If my life had no tension, no drama at all, I would no doubt become restless and lazy. I would probably be sucked into a life of self-indulgence in my quest for fulfillment. But indulgence always leads to emptiness. We were made for something more. Actually, for Someone more. 

Living “for Christ’s sake” requires us to jump into the fray. There we realize an ongoing battle rages within us between the Holy Spirit and our sinful nature. It can be agonizing, especially when we keep seeing the same weaknesses. But each time depression or insecurity or pride surfaces, we have the opportunity to meet it head-on and discover once again, as Paul Miller notes, that “we can’t do life on our own.” We were never meant to.

Helplessness drives me to prayer. It humbles me. It carries me from wanting to “be like God” to wanting to “be with God.” Ultimately it opens the door to the Holy Spirit’s power.  It leads me to the ultimate discovery—that life is not about me after all; it’s about Him. And so I am drawn to the sweet refrain:

             I am weak, but Thou art strong,

            Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

            I’ll be satisfied as long

            As I walk, let me walk, close to Thee.

I imagine some of you reading this feel battle-worn. You think you’ll never overcome the hardships and difficulties in your life. But you can learn, as the Apostle Paul did, to actually delight in the very weaknesses that thrust you into God’s mercy. There is nothing coming against you—or rising within you— that God can’t use for good. It’s a promise he has given to all those who love him. So don’t balk at being desperate. Say goodbye to your control….

Let helplessness be your new BFF…best friend forever.





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