“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:8
Have you ever been helpless? I’m not talking about getting laid off or anything along those lines, as bad as they might be. No, I’m talking about being in bed and can’t get up. A short walk of less than 100 yards wipes you out for the day. Falling over in your church pew, because you’re too weak to stay upright. Not even to take a shower on your own.
That, my friends, is helpless. Right after I had a double bypass years ago I was that helpless. They made me walk from ICU to step down (bastards!). Later, I took two laps around the unit, which wasn’t that far, and I slept most of the rest of the day.
I couldn’t even shower myself. That was part physical, part psychological. I made it in to the shower where the nurse washed me down. She asked me the next day if I could do it myself, clearly hoping I would. I started crying; I looked down at that big, long scab in the center of my chest and told her I was afraid to. That’s something no one even wants to see, let alone have! I promised if she’d do this once more, I’d take it from there. She very kindly agreed. I kept my promise.
I couldn’t get out of bed on my own. In the hospital they used the bed to elevate me to a sitting position so I could get up. Before the chest tubes came out it hurt like hell at around 45 degrees. They made my lat muscles spasm, and I screamed every time up and every time down. When I got home, Julie had to help me sit up for a few days.
A couple days after getting home, I told her I could go along with her to the funeral home. Her grandfather had died while I was in the hospital. She helped me dress. Once we got the sweater over my head, she spotted some fuzzies on my chest. Julie hates fuzzies. She always has to get them off. So she started slapping my chest to brush them off. I screamed. She screamed. It was like when Drew Barrymore and ET were screaming at each other the first time they met.
Sorry, Sweetie. You know I love that story!
Even though there was a boatload of pain at the start, I have memories of relief too. My job had me going all…the…time. As a helpless survivor of major surgery, I had nothing to do but walk as much as possible, eat, sleep, and…well, you know. Oddly enough, that was a good time in my life. I was released from the harried pace I’d been keeping. Breathing turned into a great hobby.
It felt good to trust the staff at the hospital. It was a comfort to trust my wife to handle things while I got better. It wasn’t like I had a choice, right?
Do you have any idea how helpless you are? Right now? If Satan comes at you with a temptation – your favorite one – you are helpless before him. We get brainwashed by society into thinking we’re doing well, life’s good, and we have nothing to fear. We are helpless against the constant and subtle – at least initially – messages that bombard us. We are spiritually helpless. What do you know about giants in world history? Nothing? Skeletons abound around the world, but scientists have covered that up for ages, because it doesn’t fit their precious world view of evolution. But they are real and impact world and biblical history. This is Satan’s world, his rules, his message. He keeps pulling the wool over our eyes (appropriate, as we’re sheep), and we are helpless.
Unless, of course, you open your mind to God. Unless you are willing to read the Bible – and I mean really dig through it – and then look around and explore everything you can in this world, you’ll keep falling for the lies. Jesus told us to watch. We just can’t do it without him.
People have “foxhole conversions.” Your foxhole might look like a syringe or a pill. It might look like a dinner plate with a stick of celery and a glass of water or a finger down your throat. When you’re almost dead, you might see the light. Don’t wait for that. Much too risky. Recognize that you are helpless NOW! Ask God to open your eyes to His Will and Word. There’s comfort there.
I was greatly comforted, even grateful, in being helpless. It felt so good to not have to worry, because I had so many professionals and family looking out for me. Imagine how good it can feel if you prostrate yourself before God, admit you’re helpless, and let Him do the worrying!