Thursday, July 16, 2020

Powerless: Sometimes the Perfect Place to Be

Have you seen any of the video series, “The Chosen”? I’ve seen the first four episodes – it’s about the life of Jesus Christ, employing some artistic license about what His life might have been like before He began His formal ministry. It also includes fictionalized back stories of some of Jesus’ closest disciples.


I don’t mention this to promote the series, although it’s well worth the time to view it. The fourth episode includes a scene called “The Miracle of the Fish,” referring to Luke 5:1-11, in which Jesus directs several frustrated fishermen, including Simon Peter, James and John, to try once more to haul in some fish. Their catch is so overwhelming, it almost capsizes their fishing boat.


A scene of Jesus at a wedding in episode
five of “The Chosen.”
(CNS photo/Vidangel Studios)
The video’s depiction is impressive, showing hundreds of fish being pulled into the boat, straining the capacity of the nets. The only thing is, they’re not real fish. They are computer-generated imagery or CGI, special visual effects created via computer. As Dallas Jenkins, director of “The Chosen,” explained in a brief video about the scene, creating the miracle of the fish on screen was a miracle in itself.

Originally, the plan was to use real fish on a scheduled day and time, but all options for that had proved fruitless. What could be done? Trying to film the scene without the fish would lose its impact. Then the tech-savvy members of Jenkins’s team assured him it could be done with computer software. The director, however, was skeptical. All he could do was trust them – and God.


“So I was powerless, and it’s a scary place to be, when you’re powerless,” Jenkins said in the video clip. “But, for me, it felt like a really beautiful place to be.” 


One of the CGI specialists said an idea came to him that he had never tried before, and as it turned out, the result far exceeded his expectations.


To me, this is a wonderful description of each of our lives at one time or another, whether we’re attempting to capture a miraculous biblical event on film, addressing a serious financial challenge, dealing with a dire medical diagnosis, or coping with myriad other crushing problems that crop up in everyday life. We feel powerless, and it’s scary. But if we turn to God in faith, trusting Him to guide us through whatever the crisis happens to be, it can prove to be “really beautiful.”


We agonize, “What should I do?” when in reality, there’s nothing we can do. Then we pray, sometimes as a last, desperate resort, and wonder, “But what can God do?” The uncertainty can be scary, but it also can become an incredible learning experience as we discover anew that the phrase, “God is able,” isn’t some trite, handy cliché.


While pondering this, a verse popped into my mind that I hadn’t thought about in some time. It’s from the Old Testament, but it’s as new and fresh as the dew on this morning’s lawn. God declares, “Call on me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). That’s a wonderful promise I’ve seen fulfilled in my life – and the lives of many people I know – more times than I could ever recount.


What has you feeling powerless today? A struggle in your personal life? A painful family situation? Seemingly insurmountable problems at work? Concern about the strife and chaos overwhelming our nation right now? Each apparently without resolution. What’s to be done?


Jeremiah 33:3 gives us the answer. God says we’re to call on Him, praying urgently, fervently and faithfully. And trusting that as we do so, He indeed will show us, as another translation states it, “great and mighty things” that we do not know. Because, as Ephesians 3:20 assures us, the Lord is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”


Yes, feeling powerless is a scary place to be. But if we look to the Lord and trust in Him, even when we haven’t a clue about what He’ll do, it can also be the perfect place to be.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Bob, again, timely & spot on! Will forward to a family member, no, 2!
Aloha & mahalo nui loa.