dependence…

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

Signing of Dececlaration

Most of us probably recognize these words as the beginning of the United States’ Declaration of Independence. At a time when they were ruled and dictated by the most powerful country in the world, Great Britain, the leaders of the thirteen colonies declared to the King and the world that all men deserve freedom. It was an unbelievably courageous act of rebellion and it unified the colonies into one nation that would stand and fight for its independence. Later, after defeating the British in a war of independence, the Continental Congress created the United States Constitution in order to “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” From that moment on, independence would be ingrained into every American from birth to death as the ultimate right and freedom. Even today, we teach our children to grow up and be independent as soon as they can.

I will never forget the day when my daughter Abbie went to the bathroom on her own, without any encouragement or direction, and came out free of her diaper. Not only was our budget freed from the bondage of expensive diapers (at least for a few months until Zach needed them!) but she had taken a big step in growing up. Later, when Zach learned to “be brave” and sleep in a normal bed, rather than his beloved crib, we celebrated how proud we were of “our little man.” Many years ago, when I first rode my bicycle without training wheels, I felt a sense of freedom that I had never felt before. And almost all of us can remember the first time we moved out of our parents’ home and, while it may have been scary, what a huge step it was. We had somehow “grown up” and become an adult. Through the course of our lives, we face trials and troubles that move us from dependence to independence, from childhood to adulthood. It is not only something we accept but is something we celebrate.

But have you ever stopped to think how that same sense of independence affects our Christian walk? Until recently, I have never thought about it, but recently I was challenged to do so and found that my sense of independence permeates my walk with the Lord. While I love the Lord passionately, and am growing closer to Him everyday by His grace, I do not think I am dependent on Him. Yes, I acknowledge that He is the God of the Universe that controls every single speck of this existence, but do I really depend on Him daily? To the point where I would crave or cry out for Him if He were missing from my day?

hostages-topper

On July 19, 2007, 23 members of a South Korean Christian church were kidnapped by the Taliban as they travelled to provide medical services to poor Afghan citizens. Over the series of weeks, the Taliban issued deadlines, made threats and ended up killing two of their captives while only released two of the women. Almost six terrifying weeks later, the Taliban agreed to release the remaining 19 hostages after the Afghan government agreed to stop all missionary work there. The hostages shared stories of secretly tearing a Bible into 19 pieces so each of them could quietly receive encouragement when they were separated and threatened. After their release, the world celebrated their freedom and held them up as brave and courageous victors. But months later after they had returned to their lives in South Korea, many of the former hostages found themselves asking each other, “Do you miss it sometimes?”

Why would they ask such a question?

Because at the times when they were most terrified and frail, they were completely dependent on God. And those were the times when they were closest to Him and felt His presence the most! I envy those incredible Christians for their nearness to the Lord, but I also must be honest and say that a large part of me fears it if it means being completely dependent on God. This year, I have really struggled with letting go of “my way” and being connected with the Lord for my moment-by-moment needs. I like “dependence” as long as I have the master override switch in my hand. Letting go? Now THAT’S scary….and is exactly how the Christian walk is designed by God to be.

Maturity=Dependence, Immaturity=Independence.

(This post was originally posted on the Dad Matters blog page)

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~ by kuiperactive on September 16, 2014.

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