Can God Understand My Powerlessness?

Picture of Jesus standing at the door and knocking.In the Church we are taught that in some unfathomable way in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus somehow experienced and took upon Him every sin, transgression, challenge, feeling, and experience that has ever been or will ever be experienced by any child of God.  Every feeling? What about powerlessness? How could the Lord Omnipotent possibly fully experience powerlessness?  It seems like a contradiction in terms, a paradox.

I was reminded of one of my first profound experiences with powerlessness.  One of my children was refusing to get out of bed and go to school.  There really wasn’t anything she cared enough about for me to be able to use it as an enticement, or even as a threat.  As I stood looking down at her lying in her bed, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness.  How had it come to this?  She was my child.  I was her mother.  Yet there was nothing I could do to “make” her behave the way I wanted her to.  It occurred to me that once children grow too large to physically carry, we really don’t have much control over them at all unless we resort to threats of physical violence or emotional abuse, neither of which was an acceptable option to me.

And so it is with Jesus.  He stands at the door and knocks.  He whispers to me through the still small voice.  He longs to bestow upon me every blessing I could possibly want.  Yet He cannot make me open the door.  He cannot make me open my ears or recognize His voice.  He cannot make me open my spiritual eyes and recognize Him at my side.  He cannot force me to receive the blessings He is holding out to me.  He cannot do any of those things without compromising my agency, which would defeat the whole purpose of His mission.  Is this not powerlessness?

He needs me to be His hands, feet and voice in the lives of others.  How does He feel when I am too busy, or afraid? What about Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother?  How do They feel when They watch us stumble and fall?  Do Their hearts cry out to be able to pick us up and comfort us?  What if we don’t recognize Their hands in our lives, and refuse to be comforted?  Do They weep for our sorrows and pain?  Do They long to be able to just hold us?  Rock us?  Tell us it will be alright?

Yes, God knows what it feels like to be powerless.  And as we learn to accept our powerlessness, along with all the feelings associated with it, we grow to become more like Them. Are you ready to give up the illusion of control and confess your powerlessness? It is the first step to freedom.

  • What are you reluctant to let go of – to admit that you are powerless over?
  • Write about how you have tried to control this matter and what the results have been.
  • Are you satisfied with the results?
  • Are you willing to let go and trust the Lord in this matter?
  • What footwork do you need to do in order to let it go?


5 thoughts on “Can God Understand My Powerlessness?

  1. I forgot how frustrating it is to have a child that refuses to do what you want, no matter what. That really is powerlessness. I really can imagine our Father and Mother in Heaven feeling that way about us. The Savior must really feel that as He has done so much for us and made it possible for us to repent and to change and become like Him, yet so many of us still do things our way and forget about His love for us. I love your thoughts and analogy. I believe it to be true.

  2. Awesome. Understanding powerlessness is one of those crucial pieces to becoming more like God. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  3. Mira, you have a special way of helping others with their addictions. I always learn from you and have a better understanding of the 12 steps. Thank you!

  4. Dear Readers,
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