An odd sort of comfort descended upon me last week as I watched my three-year-old daughter climb into the front seat of our SUV.
I was unloading groceries from the back, and Madeline saw an opportunity to ﬁddle with all the knobs, buttons, levers and contraptions that operate a Nissan Murano. And while I don’t like my radio stations changed around or the heat cranked up in the middle of the afternoon, I knew that nothing Maddie could touch would put her in imminent danger. Her legs were too short to reach the pedals; her arm too weak to pull the gear to Drive. She could blare music to hair-raising levels, disturb the neighbors with constant honking, and make a complete mess of my MIRROR situation, but the fact is that Madeline is just too weak to put herself in signiﬁcant danger — in that situation, at least.This seems paradoxical. Doesn’t weakness imply vulnerability? Doesn’t the weak baby seal get picked oﬀ ﬁrst by the polar bear? (Doesn’t a weak metaphor get swallowed up by a stronger, more metaphorical metaphor?) In Maddie’s case, however, her weakness was her greatest defense. The gear she was trying to yank and the pedal she was trying to push weren’t made for her at all, but for an older, stronger parent who had been to driving school and possessed formi-dable gross motor skills. If she had anything to thank for her safety, it wasn’t her will or curiosity — those things left un-checked would have propelled her to the moon or right over a cliﬀ— it was her physical insuﬃciency.The Bible has a lot to say about man’s weakness and insuﬃciency to earn right standing with God, but one thing we often overlook is how utterly powerless we are to escape the good hands of God once he’s got us. We might push all the wrong buttons in our lives, screwing a lot of things up in a big way, but we are too weak to put ourselves in danger of divine abandonment. We just don’t have the kind of muscle mass it would take to move the faithfulness of God one iota forwards or backwards. Our stubborn will and our rogue curiosity would threaten to send us careening over the side of the cliﬀ, save for the more stub-born, the more ﬁxed aﬀection of God.In Exodus , Moses and Miriam sing a song of praise to God after he has brought the Israelites safely across the Red Sea and hurled Pharoah’s army under the water. The song champions God’s great power in the face of mighty Egypt, declaring,
In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
God’s people had been set on a path, and there was no deviating from that path one little bit, not because of their suﬃciency but because of God’s strength; not because of their wisdom, but because of God’s unfailing love. And boy would they mess up along the way; whining, disobeying, doubting God’s goodness, getting distracted. But they had been redeemed and were on a trajectory to-wards God and his holy dwelling. God would see it through.Are you feeling strong today? Weak? Some combination of both? It really doesn’t matter. You are neither strong enough OR weak enough to aﬀect God’s character or intentions. So stop ﬂexing in the mirror. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop looking at yourself all together, and become transﬁxed by the Strength and Power and Suﬃciency and Love that cannot be put into Neutral by your little hand.
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Why are we here?
IBC is on a journey committed to life transformation through Jesus Christ. We engage this journey by growing in Christ, connecting in community, and joining the mission.This commitment comes from Jesus’ words in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-39) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
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How do we do this?
Growing in Christ
At the heart of the journey is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the story of the Son of God coming into our dark world to bring light, life, hope and transformation. The journey begins when we trust Christ, but it doesn’t end there. God’s desire for each of us is for our hearts and lives to become more like the one who has saved us (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Connecting in Community
The gospel story draws us into a community of people whose lives have been trans-formed by Jesus. This journey is not one that we undertake alone. We are designed to do life together as a community of Christ-followers. It is essential that we walk with one another on the journey (John 13:34-35).
Joining the Mission
The gospel tells us that one day God will take all that is broken in this world and make it whole. Those of us who are on the journey together are called to be people who do what we can to make glimpses of that day show up in our day. We do this by telling the gospel story and demonstrating gospel-shaped love to a needy world (Matthew 28:18-20).