FROM THE 'DEEP' END

Eric Partin
Eric Partin

If you could have one super-power what would it be? At one time or another most of us have imagined what it would be like to have a supernatural gift that no one else has. I know I have. When I was a kid I would ride the bus home from school and daydream about what it would be like to breathe underwater, or run at the speed of sound. Everyone dreams about flying, but for some reason I thought it would cool if I could walk on the ceiling. It would really freak people out seeing you walk over them. Plus, if you can walk on the ceiling you practically double the square footage of your home in a way.

Then, just when you start to grow out of your superhero phase, you hear true stories about people with superpowers. Like the woman who lifted a car off of her child. Or the man who can conduct electricity with his body. What about the guy who can catch a bullet with his teeth? Maybe there are superheroes among us. Maybe there is hope for those of us that wish to be exceptional.

As we get older our expectations for powers wehope to achieve start to lower a bit. Like, maybe now you want your superpower to be to be able to hold off foreclosure on your house. Maybe you want the power to mend a broken relationship. Maybe you’d like the power to make your kids make good decisions. Here’s a really good one: the power to be everywhere at once. Then you could work that 40-plus hour work week and still be able to spend time with your family.

But maybe you are already a hero, but you don’t know it yet. Sometimes the big challenges in life feel like they go beyond our own ability. What do we do then? There are a few people, you can call them “heroes” if you want, that are featured in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, that can help us feel empowered.

First, there is Abraham. He believed God’s “yes” when his body said “no.” Abraham was 75 years old and childless when God told him that he would be father of many nations. Practically, Abraham and his wife Sarah were much too old to become parents, But Abraham’s faith in God was unwavering. He would wait on God’s promise for 25 more years, until he and his wife Sarah had their first child at 100 years of age. The greatest part of the story is that Abraham’s offspring would become the lineage of the entire nation of Israel. Centuries later, the Apostle Paul would write in Romans 4:18 that “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.”

Abraham’s son Isaac would also go on to be a hero and learn to trust God during an economic downturn. Isaac would have to figure out how to survive during a terrible famine, the worst of his lifetime. In those days during famine, people would leave wherever they were in search of food. Everyone around Isaac began to leave and he probably felt like there was nothing there for him. Sometimes situations in our own lives seem that way. We want to walk away from where we are supposed to be because the conditions got tough. In Genesis 26:2-3 God told Isaac “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you.”

Isaac listened to God and began to tend to the land that other people saw as barren and hopeless. Isaac reaped 100 fold of what he sowed and he became rich. Instead of worrying about what he saw around himself, Isaac focused on God’s promise and he overcame a deadly famine.

Abraham and Isaac were ordinary men with extraordinary faith. Just like how Abraham’s body was broken and Isaac couldn’t see into the future, it’s not our physical or mental abilities that helps us overcome adversity. It’s trusting that God is strong when we are weak.

Pastor Eric Partin is the lead pastor of Shoreline Church in Destin and can be reached at ericpartin@shorelinechurch.net.