On Monday evening a storm tore through my region; trees were uprooted and power was cut to over 30,000 people. From 6:40 P.M. on Monday until yesterday afternoon I was without power.
It wasn't horrible but inconvenient. Electricity was gone and, of course, the Internet. Telephone service was spotty (I'm thankful for cell phones). I was relieved and grateful when power returned!
We live our lives under the convenient illusion of control. But it doesn't take much to destroy that illusion, does it? One storm causes us to light oil lamps, turn on generators and kerosine heaters and pray for relief. I should say, we pray for the illusion of control to return.
Our thin veneer of illusion has nothing to say to the Japanese who were (and are) suffering terribly in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. It doesn't take much for a human being to feel helpless.
We don't like feeling helpless. We don't like realizing so much is out of our hands and control. Consequently it's often hard for we humans to embrace God's grace. The cross casts its shadow on our lives and whispers, "You never were in control. You have always been spiritually ruined. You can't gain control. Your only hope is to surrender your helplessness to the Christ of this cross to receive what you never can earn or deserve."
Grace is hard. The illusion of control is easier.