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Pointers along the way #285

The Saviour of the weak
- Jacob Ninan

Jesus said He had come for the sinners and not for the righteous (Mk.2:17). This was actually a rebuke of those who considered themselves to be righteous and not sinners, because there is not one righteous; all are indeed sinners (Ro.3:10-12). The problem is that some of us consider ourselves to be not as bad as some of the others and think that God would be happy to accept us on our own merit. But such people deceive themselves and miss the benefit of the Saviour who came just for sinners.

In a similar fashion God says that when we are weak, then we are strong (2Co.12:9). We tend to think of God only when we are really at the end of all our resources -- what we can do by ourselves, and what we can get done through money and influential people -- and we try to manage to handle things our own way. Actually in this way we manage to mess things up quite a bit now and then, and then we rush towards God. But God has a better way for us. He wants our burdens to be light (Mt.11:30), and our trials nothing more than we can handle (1Co.10:13). He is a very present help in the time of trouble (Ps.46:1). There are reasons why we don't experience things this way many times.

One major reason is that we don't recognise our weakness and cling to Him all the time. We think that most of the time we are OK, and that we need God's intervention only once in a while. As a result of such thinking we don't think of God or invite Him into the details of our life every time. We treat Him like a bell boy we can ring for whenever there is some baggage (burdens) to be carried.

But if only we realise how weak we really are, how dependent we really are on Him, and how willing He is always to be by our side and carry us through, we would remember to acknowledge Him in all our ways (Pr.3:6). On His part His promise is that if we do this He will make our paths straight for us. But this recognition of our own weakness -- or utter dependence on God -- usually comes only through much failure coming from our own efforts. We find that we cannot do even the things we are good at, for which we have special training and expertise, unless God gives us grace. We are dependent on Him even for our very existence, even the breath in our nostrils or the beating of the heart.

The humble ones who have learned this lesson know the blessing of bringing God into every part of their lives by acknowledging Him, asking Him for grace and wisdom, and expecting His sovereign control over all things. Brother Lawrence who wrote 'Practising the presence of God' explained how he would ask God for grace every time he was to do something, thank God every time something went well, and acknowledged his own mistakes or God's sovereignty every time something went differently from expectations.

May we learn this lesson and keep on learning to put this into practice. We are all really weak, and our strength is in depending on God.