There’s a thought that’s been circling around in my head the last few weeks, perhaps longer, about dependence. I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess this is an especially big problem in America. I think it’s rooted in the idea of charity or welfare, and our destain for it. We don’t mind giving charity as long as it’s temporary, with measurable improvement. We don’t mind welfare as long as we are certain that the recipients are worthy, and it’s temporary. (Emphasis on “temporary.”) We want them to be working to get out of welfare.
And yet, this post isn’t about welfare or charity. Though I could easily follow this rabbit trail for a few thousand words. This post is about how we let our view of them effect our view of dependence on a very, very personal level.
I was sitting on my porch the other day, looking out over our yard and watching the kids ride bike and chase the dogs. I was thinking about how I’ve needed God so much these last few years since my car accident. I’ve been so very dependent. I haven’t always been able to get food on the table, and God provided. I didn’t always have childcare for my doctor appointments. God provided. Sometimes I would walk into an appointment, not knowing what my kids would do in the waiting room by themselves but I was literally left with no other choice, and one of my friends would be waiting for me there at the office, saying she just felt I needed her that day.
My work ethic, patience, pain tolerance, teaching ability has essentially been broken and I’ve been left with no other choice to depend on God for very, very practical needs. As my strength has been improving these last months with some physical therapy, and continued treatment, I finally see light at the end of the tunnel that it won’t always be this way. I will be myself again.
I won’t need God so much.
At least that has been my goal, if I’m perfectly honest. Sure most people don’t want to be dependent on other people, but I applied those feelings to God. I was trying to work my way out of the pit of dependence. I’ve had mixed feelings on this.
As I step out in independence from the daily “God you’re going to have to carry me today because I can’t do it” prayer, I continually fall on my face. Then I fall back into depression, thinking that maybe I’m not getting better. Why can’t I shake this need? If I were getting better, I’d be depending less on Him, right?
Through all this, I’ve realized more and more, on a very gut level, that our God is not a in-case-of-emergency-God. He will be there on our devastating days, to be sure. Those days where we are blind-sided…He is there. But he knows, and I’m slowly beginning to know, that this life? This fallen world? This whole world is in a state of emergency.
We live in a fallen world. Do we just depend on God until that changes?
No. Our dependence on God is not a state of the fallen nature. We don’t depend on God because we sin. Depending on God is evidence of restoration from sin. It’s harkening back to Eden. It’s foreshadowing heaven.
This dependence? It is good.
In the Garden of Eden, dependence on God was a given. It was this relationship that was holy, and intimate.
Of course, as Paul says, this doesn’t mean we sin more just so we need God more. The fruit of faith is good works. That is all over Scripture. But the roots of faith is dependence. The roots is the abiding, the drawing from God our food and water, both physical and spiritual sometimes.
We are not independent plants. We are dependent plants.
So stop feeling guilty for being dependent. The dependence is grace.
Stop trying to uproot your dependence on faith. Stop trying to do it on your own. Rest. Stretch those roots. Drink in the water and nutrients from the soil of Scripture.
The goal isn’t to not need God.
The goal is a greater dependence, through His power, to grow deeper, into a greater dependence (or maybe even awareness of our dependence) on Christ. Because through Him, we have victory, we have power. Without Him? We are dead, like a dried up twig. Of course this dependence does not manifest itself through more sin. Paul says so. Deeper roots, a greater dependence, doesn’t mean less fruit. It means a healthier plant. More God. Less us.
We are blessed with this dependence, friends. Have a lovely week.