One day, a few summers back, my mother-in-law, Bonnie, was coming from Allegan to visit us here in Petoskey with two of the cousins. It is a happy time around our house when Grandma and the cousins visit. As she pulled in the drive, the excited Byers family raced out to greet our travel weary guests. After exchanging pleasantries, Bonnie informed me that the power door on the van was not pulling shut the whole way. On the outside I smiled and said, "I will take a look at that." On the inside I cringed saying, "Oh, no, not something mechanical!"
Now let me tell you a couple of things about Bonnie. If you are around me enough, you will hear me say at some point, "I have the best mother-in-law in the world." I laud Bonnie's faithfulness and dependence on God. She is such an example to the whole family. About 10 years ago, she became a widow at the young age of 53. I admire her ingenuity and resourcefulness of solving the challenges she faces. It is a rare occasion when she asks for anything, so when she reaches out to me for help, I do my best.
Nothing I tried would unlock that mechanism, and finally, I had to go to Bonnie and say, "I made the door thing worse." I added, "I know there is no way I can fix it." I continued, "But if you will trust me to drive your van into town with the door open, there is a mechanic named Mike who I know can fix this problem." A short drive and a $20 tip later, the door was back to the way it was before.
What was the solution to fixing the door? I had come to the point when I knew I could not do it — I was powerless. But it was not a hopeless situation. I had a belief that my mechanic friend Mike could help me and my friend saved the day.
You may need that kind of hope today. Maybe you are facing an addiction, a bad tendency or a character flaw that owns you. What you are dealing with might have something to do with food or spending issues. Or maybe you are in the trap of over "technologizing" yourself. Whatever it is, you are beginning to realize that you are powerless to fix it. And you need someone to save you. You need a belief that can lead to healing.
In Ephesians 3:20, we are introduced to the one who can heal us, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." This verse is teaching us that God is able, capable of doing more than we request or even can conceive. This teaching shares how God does some of his greatest work — through us.
"Now to him who is able" is literally stating that God is able to do it. We see God's power and greatness in creation as we are blessed by his handy work. In the creation account in Genesis chapter one, God creates "out of nothing" as he speaks stuff into existence. Just think about it, God can create solutions out of thin air.
The Lord demonstrates his power through miracles such as the crossing of the Red Sea, Jonah being rescued by a giant fish, the Jesus healings, feedings and his resurrection. Consider the miracles of a changed life. Individuals like Moses, who was a murderer, Zacchaeus, who was a greedy and unscrupulous tax collector, and Paul of Tarsus, who dedicated his life to the persecution of Christ followers, were healed and transformed. I have observed God's work today in the healing of those who have surrendered themselves to the Lord, and he can heal you, too. This option is open to anyone who believes.
Here is the contrast we need to grapple with and understand. God is powerful and we are powerless. You may realize and agree that you can't do it — that is a first step. The next step in healing is to believe God is able. Trust that God can do it.
Are you ready to be made well? Belief in God's power is the action that takes the top off the healing salve. Acknowledge your powerlessness and embrace his power and let the healing begin.
Norm Byers is the lead pastor of Genesis Church, with two locations meeting this Sunday, at 9:30 a.m. at Petoskey High School (use back entrance) and at 11 a.m. at Boyne City Elementary. More information is online at www.genesiswired.com or on Twitter @NormByers.