Friday, 14 October 2011

Powerlessness and God's power

I've been thinking a great deal recently about my powerlessness and God's power. The issue came to a head when I was writing an introduction to Surah of the Almighty, in which Baha'u'llah says:

"God will render anyone who reflects the effulgence of this Name powerful over all things, to the extent that if he were to instruct all things to turn upside down, they would do so. If he should wish to conquer all beings by the power of his will, he would be enabled to accomplish it by the might of his Lord. This is, verily, a grace for all to see."

I didn't know what to make of it because I had never experienced anything like what is described here. I also thought that it couldn't be taken literally for I've never seen any Baha'i with such power - even Baha'u'llah opted to appear to the world as powerless, even though he wasn't. He argued that if he showed the world the real power he had, no one would disbelieve. So what to make of this passage?

Not long after I was wondering about this, I embarked on a prayer campaign to improve my financial situation. It had become a bit dire and I felt I needed divine assistance. Over a week or more, I said the Tablet of Ahamd, the Long Healing Prayer and some other favourites. Gradually, in that time, assistance arrived and my circumstances improved dramatically.

At that point, I believed I'd had a glimmer of what the passage meant. Yes, I am powerless, but in turning to God, truly amazing things are achievable. I realised that I'd been selling God short and, to a huge extent, not relying on God and using the power that Baha'u'llah promises in the surah he will send if we call on it.

This has opened up huge possibilities for me. My horizons have been too low. I'm far too focused on the world and what it might supply or not supply and not enough focused on God and God's unlimited power to bring about any outcome. What I see as a fix between a rock and hard place is no such thing at all to God. God can open up doors out of rock and hard places. All things are possible to God.

Scene from CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON

My thinking has been shockingly narrow. I'm overwhelmed now by a new view of unlimited, infinite and eternal majesty standing just in front of me, on tap whenever I put in the effort to access it. I now see that there is nothing I can't do, so long as it is willed and so much has been willed that I can't fathom its depths. I need to pray much, much more and skip over the terrain of my future like the humans who leap over trees in that movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Yes, the only limits are mine.