How often have we been taught that being helpless is a bad thing?
I grew up in a family where my grandparents emigrated from Germany. They worked hard to establish a business, lost it all in the Great Depression and started over and did it again. I was taught that hard work and independence were important traits to have—and they are.
But it’s been revolutionizing to me lately to discover that our helplessness is the very thing that God is looking for in a person. What? Well in the book A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller, chapter 6 is actually about learning how to be helpless in prayer. He says that prayer is all about bringing your helplessness to Jesus. When we finally realize that we can do nothing lasting in our own strength and power and move out of the way and let God work through our weaknesses, then things start to happen. That’s what grace is all about.
Even more amazing, the more we mature in our Christian walk, the more helpless we realize we are, and the more God works through us. Jesus says in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” And you know what? This is exactly how Jesus prayed and ministered. He did nothing apart from the power of God. “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner,” John 5:19. So, feeling weak in a situation is actually a great thing. We turn to prayer and bring our helplessness to Jesus who sends the Holy Spirit to empower us.
Where are you weak today so that God can work?
Don’t see it as a hindrance, but rather see it as an opportunity for the power of God to work through your life. Has this ever happened with you? Feel free to share your comments on the blog.
Hi Mrs. Van Osdol,
Thanks for this post! In the midst of the challenges of my first semester of seminary this is an encouraging reminder! Even when we feel overwhelmed with our own inability, God reminds us that he can work powerfully!
Jane VanOsdol says
I can well imagine that the first semester of seminary can be overwhelming. : ) Often times, when we start something new the reality of it is different that what we imagined it would be. I think those are the kinds of “entrances” into our lives that God is looking for. I’m excited to see what He is going to do through you in the next few years.
Thanks for sharing!