I wonder, do you like being or feeling powerless? I know many of you were without power this week from the effects of Hurricane Irma, but that’s not the powerless I’m thinking about.
This week many of us felt an emotion we don’t often feel, powerlessness. In our time in history, most of us in the West do not feel powerless. There is no daily struggle to keep a roof over our head, we have a weeks worth of groceries in the fridge, we have electricity flowing in our homes with the flick of a light switch, and access to the accumulation of recorded knowledge in our pockets. We are rather powerful, but is that a good thing?
We do not worry most days that our power, wealth, and influence are not going to be there when we wake up in the morning. We don’t depend on anyone or need anything from them. There lies the problem we have taken our power, wealth, influence, and independence to mean we don’t need to rely on God either. We have taken His place and become our own refuge, our own strong tower to go to in times of trouble. We wouldn’t say it out loud but we live like we don’t need God.
The last few weeks as we watched and waited on hurricanes Harvey & Irma, I have wondered why? Why so much destruction, so much loss, more devastation, and uncertainty? Why does our earth hate us so much? Where is God in all of us this?
I don’t know if the earth hates us, but I know where God was during all of those bleak days.
In the Gospel of Mark, we read of an account of Jesus and His actions in the midst of a storm.
“As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!””
In the midst of the storm, just like the one we just went through, Jesus was in total control and at peace with the storm so much so He was able to sleep through it.
I don’t know about you but Sunday night through early Monday morning I couldn’t sleep. I sat on my couch in between short naps watching the National Hurricane Center reports on my phone and chatting with friends in the midst of the storm from around the state who couldn’t sleep either.
Where was God during Harvey & Irma? He was right here with us. He was in total control and at peace in their daunting midst, just like always.
We don’t like being out of control, powerless, and dependent but that is exactly where God wants us. Jesus asked the disciples where their faith was, He would ask us the same question.
I wonder if God doesn’t use the naturally occurring storms of the earth to teach us lessons about who’s in control, who has the power, and why we need to be dependent on Him? God’s desired relationship with us is that of a loving father with His obedient children. He wants to give us what is best every day. He wants to take care of us in all the uncertain times in our lives. He wants to provide for us each day our daily needs. But just like a child who doesn’t listen to their parents and experience the consequences of their actions, I wonder if God uses these storms to teach us a lesson about how powerless we really are?
We might not like feeling powerless, but the Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
God’s grace is all we need, and we need to come to a place in life where we can be ok with our weakness so we can experience all of God’s unimaginable power to come and work in our lives.
Join me in working on being ok with being powerless and with God being all powerful for us.