As a former special education teacher, when I read the word “helplessness” in books about our faith, I have to shake off the definition that I long knew. For a special education student, “learned helplessness” is a dirty word. As the educator it was my job to encourage that child and facilitate the means for him or her to be self-sufficient to the best of their ability. But as a believer, a child of God, this helplessness is what we must long for.
Self-sufficiency is the serpent crawling through the garden.
As I continue on in my reading of Paul Miller’s book, he writes “my access to Him [God] in prayer comes through the reality of my desperation.” When I walk through my days with the perspective of finding Jesus in it, I’m in essence reducing myself.
I have to learn to be helpless.
I have to let go of that sinful nature that declares that “I’ve got this.”
Because there is not one speck of my life that I’ve “got”.
Bringing ourselves to this point of helplessness with God, also opens up the reality of who we are. We pray for the minute details of our lives, because we are honest with Him. We cry out, like David, for things that seem crazy to cry out to God to. But, we stop ourselves from asking because we don’t think that tiny thing really matters to God or means anything in the grand scheme of things.
But it does.
Doesn’t it say that “he clothes the birds, how much more would He love and clothe us?”
God is infinite and personal.
He is in everything and longs to be.
He longs to be in the everything of me.
Miller goes on “when I stop being myself with God I’m no longer in real conversation with Him.” Dare I jump so quickly to “your will Lord” instead of crying out “have mercy!”. When we jump over our hearts cry, we are back in the garden hiding behind a bush. The point of prayer is us being honest about what is on our hearts.
Changing our perspective; moving out from behind the bushes and letting Him clothe us is scary.
It’s against our culture. It moves against everything we hear or have been taught.
But freedom only comes, peace only moves into our hearts,
when we can view our lives through the lens of His mercy.
We can only do that when we open ourselves up to Him…
sinful, selfish, silly heart cries and all.