Helpless to be empowered

By Dave Henning / December 10, 2015

Kyle Idleman begins Chapter 6 (“Helpless to Be Empowered”) of The End of Me with a story about the time he took his children and one of their friends kayaking in the creek running behind the Idleman house.  Kyle’s wife suggested they check Google Earth to map out a real-world bridge where she could pick them up.  Kyle’s male directionality gene took over and figured he’d be fine on his own.  To make a long story short, four hours late he had his son flag down a passing motorist for help.  Kyle made the call.

Pastor Idleman notes it’s ingrained in our culture that we can take care of things independently, as found in a “most beloved Bible verse” not actually found in the Bible: “God helps those who help themselves.”  A better explanation, Kyle asserts, is God actually helps those who can’t help themselves- those who stop in the middle of a crisis and ask for assistance.  Kyle writes:

“When we’re helpless and we know it, we’re open to receive the transforming help he wants to give us.  When we come to the end of ourselves, we find him there waiting to give us what we have been desperate for all along.”

In Luke 5:5-6, Jesus encounters a man at the pool of Bethesda who had been crippled for thirty-eight years.  Hopelessness was part of the scenery.  Then Jesus asks him an upside-down and loaded question: “Do you want to get well?”  In truth, the answer isn’t self-evident at all.  Jesus gets right to the invalid’s issue and ours as well.  Pastor Idleman frames the dilemma this way:

“You’ve been stuck in neutral for a while.  Do you really want something better?  Or have you laid down roots in a place of quiet desperation and low expectations?”

Today’s question: What action can you initiate to take up your mat and walk?

Tomorrow’s blog: “Fear of change”



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Dave Henning

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