October 1, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”—Romans 5:6 (NASB)
Just a few weeks ago, I sat on the living room floor with our youngest son, soaking in the morning and the aroma of coffee, when out of nowhere my back locked up with such force it took my breath away. I clumsily tipped to the floor and cried out to my daughter for help who was near by doing homework. She clearly misunderstood my request, because instead of rushing over concerned for my well-being, she appeared snapping pictures away like the paparazzi. Unable to stop her, I did what any mother in my state would have done and I threatened to ground her until forever if any of those pictures found their way on to social media. I was at the complete mercy of my picture-crazed teenager and reluctantly I raised my white flag in surrender.
Powerless and unable to move, my mind wandered to the cross, to the love Christ displayed there and to the work He accomplished through His sacrifice. I thought of humanity, seeped in sin and death, helpless and separated from God. Man was in desperate need of saving and Christ pierced through the darkness to do just that. He came to rescue, redeem, and reconcile us to God and it was our helplessness that brought Him near (Romans 5:6). Sent by the Father to bridge the chasm between heaven and earth, He chose to die for a people without hope. He came as a helpless babe, to save a helpless people, and it is when we acknowledge our helpless state that we find Him in all His fullness. We can do nothing apart from Christ. We are weak, defenseless, and exposed on our own, but as believers we are no longer alone. We have the living God dwelling within us in the form of the Holy Spirit and He is our strength and our power.
I unearthed the hidden gem of helplessness that day on my living room floor. Embedded in pain and pride, I chiseled away at it until its radiance broke through my stony heart, exposing flesh and frailty. I realized that helplessness was not only what drew me near to Christ, but it was also what kept me there! We were made to need Jesus. Helplessness is a gift God gives to keep us close, and when our neediness meets His strength, we are empowered to live the life He has called us to.
DIG: Read John 5:1–9. Consider the helplessness the man with the infirmity must have felt and then consider the hope he experienced upon meeting Jesus.
DISCOVER: What situations in your life are causing you to feel helpless? How can you see the hope of Christ in them?
DISPLAY: Reach out to someone in need today and be the hope of Christ to him/her.
Pastor Chris Baselice has served at Calvary since 2002, and was ordained in 2011 at the Calvary Plantation campus. He and his wife Shona were high school sweethearts and have been married for 13 years. They have three children, Savannah, Elijah, and Jacob. His favorite time is playing with his family in the pool and then going out to get ice cream!