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Kryptonite in the Desert

It's been a long time since I've seen Superman, but from what I remember he's an incredible dude with incredible superpowers except when he gets close to Kryptonite (a mineral that essentially renders him powerless). While the story is fictional, the idea is one-hundred percent true about humans.

People in western culture tend to value bigger, better and stronger. We strive for limitlessness. We boast about pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps and never settling for "good enough." I, myself, am guilty of this very arrogance. I regularly believe I can do things most people can't. I push myself to achieve competence in any area that sparks my interest. I am often proud of what I can do. But every once in awhile I get exposed to some form of Kryptonite.

Those moments are very discombobulating, very humbling. I am reminded of my limitations and frankly my humanity. They cut me at my knees and knock me on my face. They are terrifying and feel out of control. I hate Kryptonite, and yet, I am thankful for it.

In a whole other genre, there are many stories and references in the bible to deserts. The effects of deserts are very similar to those of Kryptonite. They render the Israelites powerless, limited, and weak. They expose their flawed character and their fragile faith. And yet, deserts are where we see God's character shine the most. He is faithful. He is serious. He provides just enough to survive. The glory in the desert is God's alone.

But let me also remind you that the bible is not one big desert. There are many other parts to God's story and ours. Deserts are refining. They are clarifying. But they are not the whole story. The whole story is so much more beautiful. The whole story is a romance of God's provision and our cooperation. Deserts are necessary, but alone they would be tragic.

If you find yourself in a desert lately, exposed to Kryptonite, weak in the knees and dirty in the face, just remember that this is a necessary part of your journey, but it is refining you into an even better partner for God. You can rest in the desert. You can be limited and weak and still loved. It requires a kind of faith you perhaps haven't had before, because you never realized how little you had to offer. You are valuable. Just sometimes, it's God's turn to shine alone. You get to praise Him, wait for Him, and just watch Him work. You can cry out your laments. You can also rest in the provision of just enough.

Unsplash: Krystal Ng

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