The other day I was driving on Highway 14/16 near Ucross and came upon a herd of whitetail bucks in the middle of the road.
While this is a fairly normal occurrence in the Ucross area, that day was a little more stressful when it came to my efforts to avoid hitting them. The freshly fallen snow covered the ice that had formed from the night before, and when I began to apply the brakes, I was struck with this sudden realization — I can’t stop. And although I could see the danger ahead of me and knew what I should do to avoid it, I was unable to do anything about it, which instantly made me feel both powerless and helpless.
Have you ever felt like that in your life?
Situations arise that you just can’t seem to handle or control. Even if you know what you should do to avoid the impending trial and hardship, you can’t. So you just continue to slide toward them like a car on ice.
And you begin to feel powerless. And helpless.
What can you do when there is nothing you can do? When the cancer returns? When the bills increase and the pay stays the same? When a loved one dies? When the pain is chronic? When your kids stray? What can you do when your life is sliding towards disaster and you can’t stop it?
Well, first, acknowledge that at times in your life you are indeed both powerless and helpless. At the risk of sounding like a real downer, there are going to be things that you can’t handle on your own and situations you won’t be able to change.
Then, after acknowledging that you can’t handle it on your own, remember that God can. God can handle every situation into which your life slides.
Listen to what the writer of Psalm 46 said when he faced trials. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. The Lord Almighty is with us…”
When your life slides uncontrollably into troubles and heartache and pain, when your earth gives way and your mountains fall, when your grip on life quakes and the waters of trial crash around you — there is a God who can provide refuge and strength. A loving Savior who can be an ever-present help in your time of trouble. An Almighty Lord who will never leave you, regardless of what comes your way.
When you feel helpless and powerless, call out to God. Seek His refuge and His strength. Let the One who loves you handle the icy slides in your life.
Shane Haynes is the pastor at Clearmont Community Church.