“Power comes to an end in weakness.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:9
Our humanity resists as harsh and deplorable when the judgments of life are exacted to the point that our personal power becomes crushed—to the point of the destruction of our person’s identity. Many of us have been through such a thing as a death-rendering episode that brought us to our comprehensive knees. At the time we saw no end in it, no sense in it, and we perhaps even questioned God over it.
But this is how God generally got our attention. We ran, but for a time, on our own power, but when such a thing comes against us we are castigated and forlorn. We stop fighting and succumb. We reach a rock bottom and then turn to God.
To succumb in these circumstances is not only appropriate, but necessary.
God is taking us into an unknown future—that is borne on the wings of an incalculable present—a future, all the same, that will be replete with a plan for our utter restoration.
Trusting When We Feel Betrayed
Now beckons a warning: feelings of betrayal are our stumbling block.
If we entertain the feeling of being hurt, chances are we will enter a pitiable season that destines us only for further dismay and a worse variety of despair. We may doubt that further sorrow and despair is possible; it is possible. As there are no heights to the joys that may be scaled, there is no depth that redeems the core of the abyss.
So, we have only one sensible option.
If we see the truth in the word of God—that God’s power is only available when we come to the end of our own power—then we will see pain and despair as a gateway into the very heart of a supremely loving God.
This may seem to be ironically bad news for the blessed; they are just advised to be, and remain, appropriately surrendered to God—maybe for more extrinsic reasons.
But when we rest in something like God—yes, against our initial volition—we find something wondrous and majestic out of the mess our lives have become.
We find God when we are stripped of every other comparison of power. When God’s power has no filter over it, the light shines over and through us in new ways. We become more home to faith than ever before.
But we must get over our feelings of betrayal. We must go against the tide of our feelings about the injustices brought our way. We stay with childlike faith, hoping in the hope of an even better future, though we cannot see it just yet.
A more thorough experience of God’s power comes when we come to an end of ours. This is great news for the broken and the weary; those who feel forsaken. It means God is now showing himself to us without barriers or the opposition we’ve put in the way. God gifts us with many blessings when he is our sole power; when we trust in him, alone.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.