Our entire life is spent moving from a state of dependency to a state of independence. As infants, we wait to be fed, cleaned, put to sleep, moved from place to place. Our needs & desires are solely met through our parents tending to us 24/7. I watched the other day, through the one way mirror at Sophia’s classroom, as she cleaned up her table area, carried her trash to the pail, opened her Hoodsie & yes, sadly, separated the vanilla from the chocolate in effort to eat only the vanilla. So independent. She did it all with ease. She needed no assistance. Sad & yet, is that not what we hope for our children? Do we not try to grow them to be on their own, functioning & productive? Of course it is.
Yet the question is plaguing me as to just how independent are we to become? At what point does independence hinder our growth?
As I sat thinking on all this, I remembered a quote I had jotted down the other day:
The whole Christian life is a life in which the further a person progresses, the more he has to depend directly on God….The more we progress, the poorer we get so that the man who has progressed most, is totally poor – he has to depend directly on God. He’s got nothing left in himself. (Thomas Merton)
In God’s economy, the more a person progresses & grows in their relationship with God, they become more dependent on God. Not less. The more life I live with God, I come to realize that in myself, I am poor. I have nothing. And so, I rely on Him all the more. Increasingly so.
- “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8 NIV) I share the things that are on my heart & mind with Him, more each day. I recognize that He is my refuge, that place of protection.
- “Trust in the Lord with all our heart & lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV). With each passing day, I lean on Him more & let go of my understanding. He is the One guiding my days & making a way for me.
- “In repentance & rest is your salvation, in quietness & trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15 IV). It is as I come to Him, in quietness, that I find myself strengthened & enabled.
- Paul, in all his suffering, acknowledged, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. ” (2 Corinthians 1:9 NIV). He confirms that we grow & yet do not rely on ourselves. In our growth, we rely on God more & more.
Feeling like you got nothing left in yourself? You might actually be in the best place of all.
The place of dependence on God, Who alone has everything that you need.