my truck is a brute. it eats up mile after mile of asphalt without breaking a sweat. it takes on roads made slick by sheets of rain pounding down mixed with invisible oils, all with tenacity and confidence. it insulates from the oppressive, stifling heat of the desert like a deep freezer, and i know that if ever the War of the Worlds (read alien invasion) become a reality, it is an unstoppable fortress that will shelter and protect all occupants, large and small.
but there is one thing that incapacitates it…
he lifts the vast, silver hood and i am certain that i can see my truck tremble. he reaches inside and in moments–by removing parts–this magnificent machine that can take on the world is temporarily reduced to a beautiful but incapable collection of steel, wires and and chrome.
it can do nothing. all the expertise of design, engineering, and manufacturing make no difference in that moment. it is useless.
god incapacitated me. he took away everything i did so well and shined so brightly at. he took away what came easily, felt natural. he took away what made me feel good about myself–what mattered to me. he took away my accomplishments and even all the “good” i was certain i had been doing in his name.
in one swift reaching in, he removed it all…and I could do nothing. i was paralyzed by self-doubt, hopelessness, loss and regret.
i was useless
- Not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the intended purpose or desired outcome.
- Having no ability or skill in a specified activity or area
but just as my husband does not reduce my two ton self-proclaimed king of the road to a hunk of useless metal for no reason, god does not bring us to nothing without purpose.
“for i know the plans that i have for you,’ declares the lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (jeremiah 29:11, NASB)
God replaces and restores.
he does not leave us in the middle of nothing.
nothing is not a destination.
nothing is a part of the process to make us whole.
god began to replace my plans, efforts and journey with HIS intended purpose and desired outcome.
(and guess what? i “run” better.)
when i turn the key and hear that deep, guttural roar of an engine that is being cared for so that it is continually being restored to the design of it’s maker…i remember the value of nothing.
“be still, and know that i am god…” (psalm 46:10, ESV)