We like feeling competent – powerful and capable to accomplish whatever we set our minds to. And it feels humiliating when we can’t do something we desire. But life regularly brings us opportunities in which we are faced with our own powerlessness.
To be sure, part of our glory is coming through for others – using our strength to bring more life and goodness into the world, protecting, providing, and blessing all of those around.
And, in big and small ways, this gives our life purpose and meaning. Naturally we then gravitate toward those things we do well and avoid those things we don’t. Our pride has a hard time accepting impotence in whatever forms it takes.
But impotence doesn’t always point to failure on our part. Sometimes it’s simply a reminder that we’re not God and we have built-in limitations. We can’t do everything no matter how hard we try.
For instance, we cannot make someone love us. While certainly we can influence and woo the other, there are many times in which love remains unrequited and we’re powerless to change this.
We might also realize someone we love is making poor choices. And while at times we can enforce behavioral compliance, we remain powerless to change their hearts. And lasting change is not likely without this deeper transformation.
Likewise, we might be faced with health concerns, fertility difficulties, or other chronic issues not of our choosing, but that we’re powerless to change the outcome all the same.
Regardless of the situation it’s hard to come to terms with our powerlessness. We want to do something! And it feels like defeat when there’s nothing we can do to fix it.
But coming to the end of ourselves we’re forced to look once again to the one who is powerful enough to work all things out for good.
This doesn’t mean things will happen on our timeline or in a way of our choosing. But we learn to surrender to God’s power and the ultimate goodness of the story he’s telling.
In the end, let your powerlessness drive you back to the one who remains more than able to give you life to the full.