I’ve been thinking about Superman a lot lately. Perhaps it’s because I listened to the signature song “Superman” of the band “Luna Halo” several times on a recent road trip. Perhaps it’s because I often feel the pressure as a minister to be “Superman” or “Wonder Woman”. Perhaps it’s because I am being reminded by the Holy Spirit that there are no super heroes just a Super-Savior!
My two sons were in kindergarten and elementary school during the super hero craze of the 1980’s.
We had all the super heroes in twelve-inch molded figurines; the Hulk, Captain America, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and others I have conveniently forgotten.
The creativity that came from the playroom was amazing as my sons created stories of super hero rescues and danger. I made a Superman outfit complete with cape, tights and t-shirt with the large letter S for my youngest. I made a Batman outfit complete with cape, tights, bat insignia T-shirt and black mask for my oldest. They wore those costumes everyday playing, pretending, overcoming evil and helping those being abused.
One day I heard a loud thud and a scream of pain. As I ran to the playroom I found Superman at the bottom of the stairs with a broken toe. Pretending had crossed the reality line and my youngest had thought for sure he could fly like Superman down the four steps to the playroom.
I’m not sure if the tears flowed from the pain of the broken toe or from the pain of realizing he could not fly and didn’t have super human powers. I was a costly lesson that would be of great benefit later in life.
Today he is one of the youngest pastors in our community. And he pastors not as Superman but as one who knows his weaknesses and serves a Super- Savior.
The apostle Paul had the same revelation as he moved from Superman status to humble servant, empowered by Christ status. Consider this passage of scripture as we sneak a peek at Paul’s broken toe.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (MSG) “Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size — abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
The power of God’s grace in us is much greater than any earthly conflict we might experience. Learning to humble ourselves and allow that grace to flow into us requires us to remove our Superman cape.
It requires us to say to those who would pressure us to rescue them, “I can’t be your Superman”. It requires us to seek a relationship with Christ so that His unlimited strength comes into our weakness. There is no grace or power greater than the love of a Super-Savior toward His blood bought child.