the steps we take, the relationships
we build, and the life we create
we build, and the life we create
SCRIPTURE TEXT Isaiah 40:25-31
KEY VERSE “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless” (v. 29).
Rolling over in the comfort of my bed, I checked my phone when I heard the text notification.
In ATL . . . heading to airport via shuttle.
I read the message while still trying to shake off the sleepiness clouding my head. Scott had left a few hours earlier for an international flight to Colombia, South America where he would be for the next week and a half.
Smiling, I messaged back – Glad you made it on time. Praying for you! I love you so much! I hit send and prepared to close my eyes for just a few minutes longer. Just as my head rested again on the pillow, every electrical system in the camper went down. No overhead lights. No blinking indicator on the microwave. No air conditioner.
We had been camper living for less than a year, and while we had tripped a breaker here and there trying to run the hot water heater, coffee maker, and hair dryer at the same time, we had never lost complete power. I could feel a sense of panic rising and with it a flood of adrenaline. I checked the electrical panel inside the camper. I tried resetting the GFC outlet. I unplugged the surge protector and plugged it back in.
Still nothing. Two melted surge protectors and a frayed power cord later, we learned how a seemingly minor separation had created a major breakdown. Mowing the grass earlier in the week, Scott had yanked the cord enough to create a tiny gap of separation between the cord’s prongs and the power surge receptacle. The cord and receptacle were still connected, but loosely so.
Instead of the cord being safely surrounded by the receptacle, the prongs of the cord became corroded by all of the weather elements. The disconnect had not been enough for it to come completely unplugged but enough to create distress. The resulting continuous arc of electricity eventually melted the surge protector and blackened the grounding prong. The power shutting down was inconvenient, but it was a protective response preventing a larger crisis of an electrical fire.
How many times have we experienced something similar in our personal lives? We try to stay connected to Jesus, but the yank and pull of life causes us to prioritize other things over uninterrupted connection with Him. We know He is our strength, and we want to love Him well, but we end up pulling back, allowing the distance to create a gap that our best intentions cannot overcome.
Sometimes, we deliberately choose to let other things get between us and Him. Other times, we spiritually burn out because we think we are putting Him first but what really drives our thoughts and actions is our fear of disappointing people, our fear of the unknown, or our fear of being alone. Then, when the distance becomes chaos, we wonder why we don’t experience God’s strength and power in our lives.
We think we’re fine, until we’re not.
Isaiah 40:26 reminds us, “Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” He is far greater than we could ever imagine, and there is not a single detail He does not see. Family, job, friendships–any number of things cause us to get disconnected. Some of them are worthy of our attention, but they will always be secondary to the wonder of who God is (v. 25).
Mark 8:35 reminds us the harder we try to control, the more we lose. Only in the paradox of letting go can we find true strength. I cannot fight to stay in control and live in the strength God has promised (Isaiah 40:29-31). I also cannot be “loosely” connected to Christ. My attempt to be anything less than all in will eventually result in spiritual crisis. Daily, I must choose the One in whose hand rests “heaven and earth” (Psalms 69:34, Isaiah 37:16, Acts 17:24-25).
Intimacy with Jesus is powerful, but just like electrical power, it isn’t to be taken lightly. He is “the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth” (v. 28). We were not created for power outages, system failures or burn out. We’ve been made for strength. The kind that comes in weakness. The kind that redefines our circumstances. The kind that remakes us for eternity.
GOING FURTHER Read 2 Corinthians 4:6-18 and consider how this passage shapes your understanding of what it means to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
THINKING FORWARD Think about the thing or person in life that most often gets in between you and Jesus. Why do you think this aspect of your life has the power to create distance in your relationship with Him?
We want to trust Jesus, but we like to be in control. What is one area where you have experienced God’s strength through giving up control and how did that reality unfold in your life?
As a writer, Regina draws from her experiences with her own family, her work in education and her love for her local church family. The author of two books, Who Calls Me Beautiful and Designed by God, Regina was also a regular contributor to Our Daily Journey, an former online and print publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Regina has also written for Discovery Series, contributed to devotional compilations (God Hears Her, God Sees Her), and published with Church Planter Magazine as well as The Quiet Hour Devotional.