Does Life Ever Make You Feel Helpless? Good.

Have you ever felt helpless? Have you ever felt totally out of control?

There are things swirling around you that you can’t explain, don’t understand, can’t stop.

It kind of makes you dizzy, no?

Maybe you just can’t seem to get a grip on life. Guess what? That’s a good thing.

Jesse Barker (CC)

A Story You Probably Won't Believe about the Birth of My Third Son

Abram’s birth gave Katie and me a scare.

I’m not one for birth stories. All that blood and mucus and meconium (a nice way to say poop) just grosses me out. But this is a story I find more than coincidental. In fact, you might not even believe I’m telling the truth.

The story actually begins years before Abram was conceived.

When Katie was pregnant with Georgia, we spent spare moments creating a playlist from my iPod to play when she was in labor. I put my Classic on shuffle and we would pick out songs that fit the calm mood we wanted to evoke.

We had about fifty tracks ready for that fateful day. But we never got to use it.

Katie went in to labor late Christmas Eve, and we were lucky just to make it to the hospital. Everything went so fast I didn’t even have time to grab the MP3 player to bring to the delivery room.

But with Abram, things were different. His birth was scheduled. We knew when to be at the hospital. So I made sure I had the tunes ready to go once we settled in the delivery room.

Songs like Trenchtown Rock by Bob Marley and the Wailers and Alison Krauss's Forget About It played softly through the air, tickling our ears as we waited for our boy to come.

Labor started, but Abram refused to drop. He clung to the womb like a tick does to flesh. Katie contracted, but he wasn’t coming. As a result, his heart rate kept jumping abnormally high. I saw the look of the concern on the nurse’s face; she didn’t even try to hide it.

My eyes never strayed from the monitor. I’d watch as Katie had a contraction and his heart rate jumped. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I thought if I held my breath I could slow things so we could figure our what was going on. Then, in that instant, piercing the drama, mocking our pain I heard these words come through the air:

Helpless, helpless, helpless.

It was Neil Young, like he knew what was going on. He wasn't just describing my son; he was singing about me—there was not a thing I could do.

The Real Reason You Feel Helpless

The real reason you feel helpless is because you are helpless. And anything it takes to remind you of that is a great thing.

Sure, we have free will, but we can barely control our own flesh let alone anything else. We are like my unborn son, a puddle of flesh unable to see, unable to breathe.

These moments of doubt and insecurity just serve as reminders of a truth that always exists. We build up castles, laws, sciences, portfolios, and schools to make us forget just how helpless we really are.

But in reality, were it not for the breath of God, we’d be nothing but dust. Nothing but dry bones, a mass of carbon.

My son survived by the prowess of our nurse and the grace of God. I had never felt more helpless. As much as you and I like to pretend we’re in control, we’re not. Believe me. That’s a really good thing.

A great way to cultivate a sense of dependence on our Maker is to spend time in prayer and in the word. I've developed a FREE guide that will help you establish a habit of quiet time in such a manner that you won't even have to think about opening the Bible. It will become so automatic you'll feel like something's missing if don't spend some time with God.

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  1. Believers have never been truly in control. we set our faces to the future with what we want, but our feet never seem to match the direction. We have to remember that there are two sets of footprints in the sand....ours and His.

  2. Reminds me of Proverbs 16:9: "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps."