This was the question that was posed at the end of a radio broadcast I listened to earlier this week. Why is it that God’s power, his presence, his Spirit shows up in times that we are most vulnerable, most desperate? Even more than this, why does God’s power seem to be missing in our lives the rest of the time?
In my own personal life, I have witnessed God move miraculously during times when I felt like I was at my lowest and had completely run out of answers. I cannot tell you all of the times where I have experienced God deliver myself or my family from death, financial destruction, tribulation, and other sorts of calamity. Just a few weeks ago, even, I sat with my husband and daughter in the emergency room, calling out to God to deliver us from our present affliction. I remember praying and binding every single devil in hell that was coming at us, understanding that it would only be by God’s grace that we would walk out of that place with our health intact.
But what about the other times? Where is God’s power when I don’t feel so desperate, when I don’t feel so needy? Where is his manifest presence in my daily life, when things are going okay – my health is good, finances are good, my job is steady and family is doing well? Though I may not be suffering, or going through, I know that something is missing. Something is missing from my daily life that is present during the times that I am at my wits end.
The thing about it is that emergency room situations expose our weaknesses, desperation, and the limitations that we have as humans. It is during the emergency room situations that we reach outside of ourselves and truly acknowledge that there is a source bigger than us who can deliver us. Even unbelievers and people who do not follow God seek after him when they have run out of answers, and can’t seem to make sense of their tragedy. And in calling out, God shows up in amazing ways and we see him come through. But then we go back to our “normal” lives, failing to understand that the same power that just delivered us, can be and dwell with us everyday!
This is because we do not always recognize our weakness and extreme vulnerability. Most days, we believe that we have the power, the capacity to work things out on our own. We place so much stock in our education, our health, our jobs, our homes, our wealth that we do not see our need, our desperation for God. Its called pride, and we must remember that it is this same pride that caused Satan’s fall and the same kind of pride that caused Adam and Eve to sin. Anytime we think that we can handle things on our own, and that by our own might we can save ourselves, not only do we find ourselves in sin, but we miss out on all the good things that God has in store for us.
The Bible, in Romans 8, testifies that the same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells inside of us. I have always thought that this is a wonderful thing, but this can never be a reality unless we acknowledge that even on our best days, we absolutely need God. In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul petitions God to remove the very thing that was making him weak, and God, understanding that it would keep Paul humble and completely dependent on him tells him no. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” The power, and presence of God for that matter, can only be perfected in us when we live out of weakness and absolute desperation for him. It may not be popular in our whole “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps mentality” but what is popular is not always godly. Let us, myself included, begin to live lives that recognize we need him, absolutely need him, every moment, every hour, when things are going great and when things are going badly, that WE NEED HIM. I have a hunch that as we do, we will begin to see God manifest himself in ways that we only thought he did in the emergency room.
Be sure to get your copy of my new book, Dancing on Hot Coals in time for Christmas. Kindle edition only $2.99.