“So, he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV
“Our calling is therefore the way of being that is both best for us and best for the world.”— Dr. David Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself
There’s a good reason for the popularity and excitement of superheroes in our books, movies, daydreams. A rescuer! Someone who takes all our burdens, loves us the way we are, protects us and spins us into a beautiful life with no heartache, disappointment, fear or shame. No effort on our part. Superheroes live in another dimension. Superheroes see the future. Superheroes never get sick. Superheroes always do right—never let one down. No flaws or addictions. They live forever. They always, always look amazing!
And the relief! No more struggling. No more working. No more want. No more shame. No self-reflection. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? No forgiveness. No growth.
Sadly, there are no superheroes coming for us. Well, Just One. He died. He died a horrible and shaming death. He conquered death and sent us a helper. A comforter. A counselor. A spirit. Not exactly the image of a superhero. Many will not accept this Helper. It requires humility and participation with responsibility.
We’re partners with him, included to become more like him. That means persecution, rejection and struggle. And we’re so shocked when it happens to us. “No thanks, I’m not up to carrying my cross today.” Many times, I mean it. I pray for it. I offer many suggestions. Then a voice says, “Grow up into Christ. I will help you be his image-bearer.” Even me.
Superheroes don’t die. They also don’t partner and counsel. They fix, temporarily. Almost all the heroes in the Bible died. All the heroes in the Bible struggled. All the heroes, except one, had flaws, faults, doubt and sin. Abraham pawning his wife as his sister because he feared the king would kill him to capture his beautiful wife. All the heroes wrestled with Truth; one became lame. All the heroes suffered rejection, hunger, cold, heat, loneliness. One of the heroes rescued the animals, poetic to be sure, but imagine caring for them, cleaning out excrement, smelling them. One hero, a widow, gave one cent, all she had, as her tithe. One of the heroes was a wayward son who saturated himself with prostitutes, spending and other extravagances. Then there’s my wayward ways. And all were rescued by his spirit. Bumpy, scary, lonely and faith-testing. Faith is always tested.
Thank you for your promise to bring us through deep waters. Thank you that nothing shall separate us from your love. Thank you for grace when we muddle, stumble and wallow in self-pity. Thank you for the honor of becoming more like your son. Thank you for singing over us and upholding us with your right hand.