Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress... Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you. - Psalm 71:3, 6
dependence - the state of relying on someone or something else.
If you asked me what God has been teaching me over the course of the past year, I would have to say "dependence."
Like most people I have fought this one for a long time. Like most people I would rather chase after "independence," because I have been doing that since the time I was little.
"I can do this."
"I want to do it my way."
"I want to be in control."
"I have a plan and here is how it is going to work.'
"I am good, thank you." (not meaning that I am "good" but that I don't need any help, or so I think sometimes.)
Over the past year, I have really learned that I really can't affect real change.
There are real times when I don't have real power to make my plans happen.
There are times when I have headed out on my own and found the path I started out on, dead ended long before I thought it would.
Over the past year, I have really learned that I need a refuge, a safe place, a fortress.
Over the past year, I have learned that I need Someone to lean on - to find strength in - to find direction from - to be encouraged by - to be dependent upon.
Over the past year, I have learned that I cannot speed things up. I cannot move things out of the way. I cannot predict the future.
Over the past year, I have learned that there are things that I can't control and the things I can control I don't always get right.
I have learned to wait and while I have learned patience which is probably the number one thing people say God is teaching them whenever asked, I have learned to be dependent while waiting.
AND...over the past year, I have discovered the faithfulness of God in more ways than I ever knew before.
I have learned that God is there. He is working. He is a safe place. He is a rock. He is a fortress. There is nothing He cannot do.
Over the past year, I have learned to pray about everything. I have learned to pray more like David in the Psalms who asked God some very specific questions and looked for very specific answers, because even though he was a king, he was a shepherd boy at heart and knew what it meant to be out all alone with no one except God and that God was more than enough. God is faithful; He will answer, or so David learned while out in the wilderness hiding out in rocks, the fortresses and refuges.
I have learned that God does answer and He does respond and if I would just listen and wait and lean on Him, He will act and move. He always does when we are dependent on Him. Humility is what keeps us dependent.
"God, Your timing is perfect."
"God, I look to You to work and act and to move."
"God, I lean on You."
"God, I am dependent on You. I don't want to go anywhere unless You go with me."
"God, You are my all in all - and I mean "all"."
Growing up in a culture that values "independence" and "freedom", it isn't always easy to say that I want to be dependent. My freedom is to turn to God and be free in Him and no one can take that away...except me...when I try to take control.
But I am learning not to do that...to be dependent instead...and turn to the One who is my refuge...my rock...my refuge...my strength...and I lean on Him.
May you lean on Him on today. May you learn to be dependent on Him. And may you discover the joy of our God who is always there.