Powerless, Weak, Unable…Exactly Where I Must Be

For the better part of this year I have struggled with a (somewhat) new sensation – the feeling of helpless inability.  To be honest, the feeling of helplessness is infuriating to me.  When I was a business manager, I felt in control.  I could form my staff, train them how I wanted them, reward their performance.  When the occasional unexpected storm blew through I could weather it out and learn from it.  Simply put, I felt successful and in control.  (Those seasoned Christians who are reading this can already see the great crash coming)

I entered back into full-time ministry with what I deemed experience, training, and vision.  I was hired by a church who had experienced difficulty for nearly 20 years – difficulty in the congregation and the pastorate.  But, I had cleaned up a market, surely I could clean up a church.  That faulty optimism didn’t last long.

I was riding in a truck with one of our members when I admitted something I had not told anyone else, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”  He was kind enough to encourage me and affirm me.  I hope he didn’t think I was trying to be humble.  I was being completely honest.  I have no idea what I’m doing!

That truck ride was nearly a year ago.  Today I can heartily affirm, I still don’t know what I’m doing!  All around, there are marriages on the brink of collapse, those professing faith willfully pursuing what is clearly contrary to God’s Word, a hard-hearted friend who refuses Christ, brothers and sisters suffering from mental illness, listless male spiritual leadership, and  the common struggle of being a husband, father, and friend.

I am not the fearless leader I once thought myself to be.  Rather I am powerless, weak and unable to perform to the task.  Part of me really hates being here.  But the Spirit within me is saying, “You are exactly where you must be.”  I must consider Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

May he grow me up into a place where I too will be content with weakness.  And in doing so, may God remove me from ever standing in the way or blocking his radiance from being clearly displayed to all.  Prayers for our church – those beloved and chosen by God!