The tagline for my blog used to be: never give up! I changed it because the last year or so has been a journey of releasing my need to be self-sufficient. In a way, I didn’t need God as much before. I didn’t need Him to be God. I just needed Him as fire insurance or my backup plan.
At least, that was my false perception. I thought He expected me to be stronger. And need Him less?
I’m finding the exact opposite. It is in my independence that I feel farthest from Him. Our American culture does not encourage this dependence. We applaud the loner who climbs and fights his way to the top.
I like to do my best, but this independence isn’t about being a good steward. This self-sufficiency borders on being my own god. Even though I can go to church, sing all the songs, and recite all the verses, when push comes to shove, I’ve found that the weakest parts of me don’t trust God. Don’t know His love and provision. Because I never allowed Him to be my God. I always jumped in and took matters into my own hands before I let Him catch me.
Part fear, part slave to comfort. We cry “take me into deeper waters”, but lose our minds when the waters get choppy, the boat is taking on water, and we’re sinking. We don’t want to wait until we’re underwater for Him to send a big whale to ferry us safely onward. Jonah reference if I lost you there.
And you might say I’m being dramatic. But I think this is maybe the most important part of our spiritual journey. Think of Jesus. It was His faith in The Father that enabled Him to do what none of us ever have: complete and perfect trust in God.
I think that’s what His experience with the devil in the wilderness during His 40-day fast was about: will Jesus trust God or give into the temptation to judge the situation in the physical?
Same with being betrayed and abandoned. Same with being whipped, beaten, and murdered on The Cross. Always the same problem being conquered on our behalf: to believe that no matter how bad it got, He was always safe in The Father’s heart and hands. As we also were, are, and will be in Jesus. God does not do abandonment – even in our unfaithfulness. He is always faithful! He always loves us!
In my need to know is where my biggest battles are fought. My sense of safety being misplaced in my need for certainty. He’s teaching me to let go of the false sense of security in “knowing” anything other than I am in God and He has me for all eternity. False because we don’t even know what we don’t know.
His thoughts are higher. His ways are greater. His love is big enough. Great enough. His grace is sufficient. This life is only the beginning.