Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blessed Helplessness

This morning I went, like I do many mornings, up to the woods for a short walk and time of prayer.  Sometimes I just sit in the car, but this morning was pretty cool and the parking lot was almost empty, so I took a short stroll on the path to get my thoughts out and pray.

It was a lot of the usual... telling God what was on my mind, the things I was concerned about, but then asking Him things like, "Please have this happen," or "Please don't let this happen."  I felt the tension inside me, as it always is when I think too much about things and about the outcomes, and then I took a deep breath, looked up, and it hit me:  Just be with Him.

Suddenly, I had a different perspective.  Suddenly, it wasn't all about trying to control outcomes and getting God to help me do it.  That wouldn't really be laying my concerns at His feet.  That is more like I'm still holding onto them and asking Him to help me make it turn out how I say.  I saw a moment of peace where I laid those concerns before Him and simply enjoyed His company, walking in the woods together, reminiscent of how God walked with man in the Garden in the very beginning.

"Daddy, this world can suck.  You know how it is, don't you.  But you are there."

And to Jesus, "Jesus, my Brother, my King... if anyone knows the craziness of this world and how things an go wrong -if anyone knows the suffering of this world, it is you."

A true Ally, a Companion, a Brother... who knows me, who gets it, who feels it, who I can just rest in for a few moments.

There is a blessedness to finding helplessness.  There are many ways in which we are not helpless and shouldn't consider ourselves as such.  There are many things we can do in this life, and there are many things we should do -both for ourselves and for the welfare of others.  Situations call for action and for responsible caring.  Relationships call for real involvement and love.  But, there is a limit out there that we have a hard time with.  It is the glass ceiling of outcomes.  We want to manage the outcomes.  We are like flies that keep banging into the glass, not realizing there is a boundary there, a window, keeping us constrained.  We would rather bang out heads against the ceiling, living with the added tension and frustration, than accept our helplessness.  We would rather be like a tangled up extension cord that only gets tighter and tighter, knotting itself with ever-increasing complexity, the more the ends are pulled.

But when we do accept this blessed limitation, we find that we can actually enjoy the company of our Maker.  Instead of always trying to get something from Him, we can just enjoy Him.  We can know that we are known and that Christ understands -not in some theoretical way, not as an observer, but as someone who walked in our shoes right beside us.  We can know the God who suffers under the weight of the world with us and beside us and for us, to make us His own.

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