I confess: I like superhero movies. So…shoot me. Rail on me. Chastise me. I have always been one who had an “imaginative” personality. My dreaming started early when I wanted to be a professional baseball player. Then I wanted to be a professional basketball player (but remember white men can’t jump). I used to read every sports fiction book I could get my hands on. I read every Hardy Boys (not Nancy Drew thank you very much) I could find in the school library. I dreamed of being the one who kicked the sand in the other guy’s face. But alas, those dreams never happened.
My imagination kicked into a higher gear when I read The Chronicles of Narnia and then began reading Steve Lawhead’s books. Fantasy/fiction was my escapist reading of choice. Hulk (Yeah, I watched it on TV). Indiana Jones. MacGyver. Back to the Future. Field of Dreams. Lord of the Rings. Bourne. Transformers. You get my drift. Now, it is the superhero era: Captain America. Iron Man. Avengers. Batman. (I have not seen Man of Steel yet). My grandson absolutely loves watching these over and over.
Sadly, there is one major setback to this superhero “worship” that so many have. Superheroes don’t exist in real life. Least not in the comic book sort of way. They do feats no human can. They have abilities no human does. They have shields and hammers, and suits that do what can’t be done.
All this brings me to my point. One falsehood most superheroes kick out at us is the power found in strength. But if I may be so bold…Jesus had the opposite idea. “The first will be last and the last will be first” is how He put it. The Apostle Paul said, “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.” When we are weak, He is made strong.
I am about halfway through Frank Viola’s book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth, and it is rattling my cage. He is talking about brokenness when he says,
We live in a day where the popular idea behind ministry training is to focus on developing one’s gifts. Gift inventories, personality surveys, and strength indicator tests are all the rage…But these kinds of tests set your eyes on your gifts…focus on your strengths, your natural abilities. They make you the center of attention…However, the Lord is far more interested in your weaknesses than in your strengths. He’s interested in breaking you. Why? Because when there is less of you in the way, there is more room for Him to work.
God likes it when His strength is pushed through our weakness. Instead of acting like a superhero, God wants me to act like a weakling in need of strength-His strength. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” That includes when acting or thinking we are superheroes.
Who is your favorite superhero? Any thoughts about weakness vs. strength?