(13) . . . almighty

Why does the Almighty need me if he has always had all power? Why do I have to keep working and praying for his cause if he is already almighty without me? Only because he has chosen to work out a world where the help of people like me is necessary! God could create a new heaven and a new earth right now by a single word. But that world would have to be a simple world of machines and robots that engineers could easily make. Only God has the resources and patience necessary for making the kind of world he has undertaken to set up. God is working toward a world of free people who really want to live together, loving God and men, despite the fact that those same people could just as easily turn the whole thing into a hell. The Almighty has taken on a truly God-sized job— but is any lesser goal so worthy? To accomplish his deliberately chosen purpose, God must have our cooperation. Our willing help is an essential part of his plan. Since he has chosen to have us for fellow workmen, the Almighty needs us as such. He will have his project completed eventually, even if I and many others don’t go along with him. We may be able to prolong his working time, but we can no more block his way forever than men can permanently and completely dam back a mountain torrent. He can overrule even our worst deeds so that eventually they will issue in unexpectedly good results. At the game of life, God will always have the last move. When all of us have played our last, it will only take one more move by the Almighty to win the game. He wields the powers of creation and resurrection—the powers of ultimate victory.

Is God still the Almighty outside the fortress of heaven? Would he shine as the victor if he had to struggle for life as we do? God loves the world and came into it to rescue us. He had to live under our conditions in order to rescue us, facing every kind of threat this world can muster. In Jesus he was born among strangers in a stable. As a helpless baby he depended on human arms just as I did. As a child his life was threatened by a vicious king. He went through the whole process of growing up. He suffered among us what we suffer, and he never spared himself, not even from a cruel death. We mighty men stretched him out and nailed him to the beams of a wooden cross. But we couldn’t kill his love for us. We even sealed his corpse away underground behind a great stone. Some God he seemed! The weakest of the weak! But even in his weakness the Almighty was stronger than our strongest acts. He rolled away our big stone and sat on it! There he was, alive again, still offering us his life-giving love. We simply couldn’t drive him away! “Lo, I am with you always.” The Almighty is willing to become our Suffering Servant. He even asks our permission to give us his love and life in place of our sin and death. He wins our hearts, not by the raw force of tyrannical compulsion, but by the overpowering winsomeness of his love. No one has stooped lower than the Almighty, but he will conquer.