© July 4, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
You have had this desire for the longest time to meet someone that you really admire. This person is very powerful and wealthy. They have influence. They have credibility. Their gifts and talents are without comparison. They have topped the list on TIME’s 100 most influential people. Not once, not twice, but since TIME magazine started compiling this list.
So, you put out a tweet or Facebook post requesting to meet them. Alas, they reply back and say, let’s do this. They give you the time, date and location. They are on the other side of the world, but they promise to fly out to meet you.
For days, you get ready to meet this person. When the day arrives, you wake up and dress up for the meeting. You are a bit nervous but assured. You pace back and forth. You recite your greeting and introduction. Hey so and so, my name is Schulter and I’m so glad to meet you. The time to finally meet this person comes and you drive or Uber to the venue.
You arrive thirty minutes early so that you can catch a breath before you meet this person. They finally arrive and you walk towards them. Hey, so and so, my name is Schulter and I’m so glad to meet you. Hey, Schulter, nice to meet you. You know me by now, they say. We both laugh heartily. We exchange pleasantries and we proceed to our table.
The meeting place is marked with opulence. It is a place where this person would frequent because they have the means. A few guests at the place give you an ominous look. They cannot believe you have scored a meeting with such a high calibre person.
You are so excited that you ignore your hunger pangs. So anyway, you proceed with the conversation. This person tells you about all that they own, all they do, all the places they’ve been to and all the people they’ve interacted with. They tell you how they’ve been able to vanquish their competitors. Things they’ve created. Everything. You only knew who they were from their Twitter bio but now the enormity of who this person is hits you hard.
You have never, in your entire life, seen such a person. Your fairy tales have been confirmed. There is really such a person. Towards the end of their conversation with you, they say this to you, hey, listen, all the wealth, power and influence I have and places I have been to and people I’ve interacted with, all that is for the fatigued, the weary and those who have no ability, power or strength.
Huh, you gasp? C’mon, you say out loud. Your mouth is on the floor. Unbelievable, you say.
Nothing I do is for me but for these people. Absolutely nothing, they continue. All my wealth, stature, power and influence are to benefit the fatigued, the weary, and those who have no ability, power or strength. Everything.
In your mind, you thought they would tell you all they do is to make them feel good and important. Wow, this is strange. What an anticlimax! The meeting draws to a close. They have to fly back. You had a solid day of interacting with this person and now they have to leave. You thank them for the meeting. After they are gone, you are left with this surreal feeling that what you heard was not what you expected to hear. Your whole view of power and influence has been flipped on its head.
Is this story true? Of course not. It’s all fiction. No human being uses all their power, wealth and influence for the fatigued, the weary, and those who have no ability, power or strength. No way. This person doesn’t exist. Even if you see the powerful and wealthy do things for the weak; they do so to look good, to feel good about themselves or to get tax breaks.
But there is one
Isaiah 40 presents us with this God. He is strong. His word stands forever. He sits above the circle of the earth. He calls stars by name. He has vanquished all his competitors. His understanding is unsearchable. He is the everlasting God, the Lord. He is the creator of the ends of the earth. He has no equal. The most powerful being on the face of the earth, more powerful than all our nuclear bombs, wealthier than all the wealthiest people on earth, Isaiah says, gives strength to the fatigued, and the weary and increases power to those who have no ability, power or strength. (Isaiah 40:29 MSG) What? Absolutely, yes!
Religion claims that such a God should use his influence to help those who are strong. Those who have power. Those who are good. Those who are educated and experienced. Those who are rich. Those who are spiritual and religious. Those who pray the most. Those who say the right things. Those with titles. Don’t they say, “God helps those who help themselves?” Nothing could be further from the truth!
The God of the gospel went further than just what Isaiah wrote about him in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, this God became human, stooped low that he actually became fatigued, weary, and without strength in order to give strength to us who were fatigued, weary and increase power to us who had no ability, power or strength. That’s the main thesis of the gospel. That’s what grace is all about, really.
How weak are you? Are you fatigued and exhausted? Are you powerless? Are you without ability?
Here’s our God. I hope you get to meet him.
That’s what grace looks like