When chaos, injustice, or tragedy abound, either in the wide world or in my own life, I feel helplessness which can lead to frustration. Frustration can lead to paralyzing depression and despair or to anger and rage. Neither reaction is a particularly healthy response to a situation that is beyond my control.
So how can feeling helpless be a good thing?
The answer became apparent to me this week when listening to a Lenten devotional from First15.org on the YouVersion Bible app. I was reminded of the many Biblical examples of God using the seemingly weak and helpless to achieve great things for His glory.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
God promises, over and over again to strengthen His people. But the caveat seems to be that we must first recognize the source of that strength.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9
We must recognize and admit our own weakness and move out of His way in order for God to move through us.
This is an appropriate reminder as we approach Holy Week. Imagine how helpless and frustrated Christ’s followers felt on Good Friday. They were weak with grief and fearful of the future, while all the time God was preparing the glorious Resurrection that would change everything. Soon these powerless, helpless men would become conduits of God’s mighty power as they stepped forth to be used to fulfill His plan.
Are you feeling helpless today? Good. Admit your weakness to God, set aside your pride and your desire for control, and prepare to be used in a might way.