PUCKETT: What to do when you feel helpless

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Citizens of the USA find themselves in a great cultural divide. As usual, both sides believe they are right and justify their position. There is a continual struggle for power, and at decisive moments, the power can shift from one side to the other. If you find yourself on the “wrong” side of the power, you might feel helpless, and in the grand scheme, you are.

Helpless does not have to mean pacifist; that is, to give up. But what do you do? One can always protest within the legal boundaries, and in cases where the power is excessively oppressive, you can rebel in a revolution. That is an extreme measure and can end in disaster.

The American Revolution is our model of a group of people who were not willing to live under an oppressive regime. The process was ugly but, for the most part, justified. Was there a righteous cause? Maybe, if you consider excessive taxes and rule from afar unrighteous. It is unlikely that it will come to that this time. So, what do you do if you find yourself on the “wrong” side?

If you believe and follow the teaching in the Bible, you will submit to the ruling authorities and pray for them. Submission seems like such a lame thing to do when you feel that you have rights, and your rights are being crushed.

As a follower of the Bible, you must believe that Almighty God is in control and that none of this is happening apart from Him. Not that He caused it, but He is allowing it.

In any case, if you find yourself on the “wrong” side, what do you do? There is an account in the Bible, in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, concerning the people of Israel who had disobeyed Almighty God and were banished from their homeland and exiled to a foreign land. They were stuck. They were captives — powerless and helpless. We might be different from the people of Israel in that we may not be in the current state as a direct result of our disobedience to God, but we are in a situation we do not desire, and we can do little to change it.

The people of Israel were told by God’s prophet, Jeremiah, in Jeremiah, chapter 29, verses 5-7, to “Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit… And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace, you will have peace.”

It is not over until it is over. But in the meantime, honor Almighty God by continuing to be a good and prayerful citizen. A praying person is never helpless!