In the last few weeks we have heard Pastor Chris talk about his hate/hate relationship with
powerlessness. And if we are perfectly honest with ourselves, we all have a hate/hate
relationship with powerlessness. It is hard not being in control and able to fix whatever comes our way. It’s that horrible feeling of inadequacy and not being strong enough, capable or smart enough to figure things out. Yuck.
Powerlessness is something that hits us out of left field. It usually grips us before we even have a minute to identify what it is I am actually feeling. Such as, “am I feeling fear of not having control of whatever it is that sets in front of me?” This automatic response sets me on a trajectory of hopelessness and deep desire to numb or shut down the overwhelming ache in my heart. It is usually in this place that we recite words that we have learned from a childhood of moments in our lives where powerlessness was dealt with internally and usually verbiage like, “why am I always so stupid?” “why would I ever think anyone could love me?” or “what is wrong with me? I must be broken.”
Proverbs 13:12a says “When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be
We often kill off hope when we feel so powerless to change our circumstances. Our hearts
become hopeless and heartsick, which often can leave us bitter and cruel to ourselves as well as to those we love and are closest to. The other thing that we kill off is relationship because that would mean that someone might actually see me and care about me. That would give me hope, and hope again would require me to have to live with the tension that things may never get better and I will have to face failure and shame all over again.
Leprosy is a skin disease that, when it infects us, causes skin sores that cause nerve damage. With that nerve damage comes a loss of sensation and feeling. So for instance, if I touched a burning fire, I would not have the sensation of burning and it would cause unspeakable disfiguration of whatever part of my body was burned. Figuratively, when we deaden ourselves to the pain that comes with powerlessness, we lose our ability to see accurately. We find ourselves in the same situation over and over because our perspective has become distorted.
The Evil One desires to keep you in a position of powerlessness so that it will keep you spinning in circles trying to manage life on your own. If you choose to kill off hope, then you will continue to live in defeat with the illusion that you are somehow in control. Engaging my
powerlessness will require me to become aware of agreements I have made to keep myself
from feeling powerless and out of control. The places where I have told myself, “I will never be put in a position of powerlessness again!” And then, become curious about why I might feel that way. That will be a place that holds shame and contempt (hatred towards myself or
others). It will require me to engage God in a new way, acknowledging my arrogance towards God, and my independence to figure out life on my own.
Excerpts taken from The Journey Continues - Open Hearts Ministry