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O’ I Need Thee!

September 6, 2014

Independence and self-sufficiency mean a great deal to us … for the “us” who are created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)

The desire to have independence, and then the assumed outcome of self-sufficiency are firmly rooted in the basic human condition called “pride.”
Pride … for all intents and purposes … is nothing more than a ploy of the enemy [Satan] to distract us from our need for God in our lives. Pride causes us to miss (and dismiss) the Hand of God working in our lives. Instead of PRAISING GOD and giving Him honor, pride causes us to “beat our own chest” and point our thumbs towards ourselves and proclaim, “Look what I’ve done! Look at me!”

This world and the “cultures and standards that WE’VE created” is “hell-bent” on everyone being SELF-SUFFICIENT. Those who are not feel ashamed … and quite frankly, are shamed by those of us standing in the wings witnessing their shortcomings.

Many years ago, as a young single mother of two young girls, I struggled in so many ways — financially, emotionally, spiritually and even logically. It was just an impossible and futile feat to ever “get ahead.” In every sense and means of desperation, I was LITERALLY doing everything I could to make money to take care of my children. At one point, I worked 4 jobs: I got up at 4 a.m. to go milk 150 dairy cows (my mother would get up to come stay with the girls while I did this); then I would rush home and shower/re-dress for work … take them to school and I worked for local government (for $5.00 per hour) from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; then I would rush back to the dairy barn to do the evening milking. On two nights a week, I taught aerobics at my church charging $1.00 per participant. Then on a few other nights or weekends, I worked at a local pizza shop. I barely saw my girls and when I did, I was so worn out and hateful — I’m certain they wished I had one more job to do.
I could not keep this up even at a young age … and all the running about profited me nothing. I desperately wanted to “do better” and have a better life, but I felt like a complete failure because I just could not seem to keep it all together.
 I cried out to God for help but I don’t think I really expected Him to do anything. That idea that I was a failure caused me to think that God could surely have no use for, nor any desire to help someone who could not make ends meet in her own life. The Devil had plenty of agents around to confirm that thought process too.
 One incident is forever and firmly etched in my mind. It was the holiday season between November-December. Every financial responsibility I had was in arrears — I just did not make enough money to meet all the obligations that I had. I was sick with worry but too ashamed to talk to anyone about how desperately in need I was. I did pray, but again I did not really expect much to come from that.

I had been attending a new church for a couple of months and the girls and I were so happy to be there and be involved and accepted by this church family. It was the night of the Christmas program and in addition to a Christmas message, they had a fellowship afterwards where Santa came and gave all the children gift bags (orange/apple/candy/small gift). It was a joyous night! I was sitting in the fellowship hall, watching my girls open their gifts and everyone was having a good time … when a young man came up to me and handed me a white envelope, and said, “Jesus loves you.”
I opened the envelope to find money and a note that said, “Merry Christmas to you and your girls. Your utility bill has also been paid in full.” I was overwhelmed with this gesture and wanted to thank someone … Someone! There was enough in the envelope to pay my house insurance and house payment.
In addition to this gesture, a few days later, after a long-time friend had placed my children’s name on an Angel Tree at K-Mart, she delivered a box of gifts for me to put under our tree so the girls would have Christmas presents (for surely, I had not been able to buy one thing for them to that point).
I was completely blown away by God’s blessings on us. I sat the girls down and made sure that they knew what God had done and that we needed and wanted to give Him the praise … the credit for this great blessing. In their “child-like” minds/hearts, they agreed.

 Unfortunately, Satan was bound and determined to continue battle. My girls evidently shared the story of our dependency upon God, and how He had blessed us with their father during their holiday visit with him. Upon returning them to our home, he made sure to let me know that he knew “what a beggar” I was … didn’t understand why I “had no pride” and raised his kids like “white trash.”

All the joy I had experienced was defeated by his words … and that he had also shared his sentiments with the girls. My oldest daughter told me that he told her that “your mother only goes to church to get stuff.” My heart was shattered — it truly was. And I hated that he had that kind of impact or control over my emotions or thoughts toward myself.
The result turned out to be an even stronger resolve to be SELF-SUFFICIENT. I continued to try in my own strength … my own strategies and logic … my own energies and efforts to do everything I could to “not be so desperate” and need help from other people, the government, a church or any one. And I failed miserably … and I lived in guilt and shame because I just could not survive without some degree of assistance — no matter how many jobs I had. So, in addition to paid work … I volunteered (A LOT) with my girls’ school, with the church, with the YMCA, with local youth sports, at 4-H camp — whatever came up so my girls could also experience some good things and I could “redeem” myself for being “poor, white trash.”

I was again stretched so thin mentally, emotionally and spiritually … and all my “good works” and “good efforts” were like “filthy rags” because the one thing that I was able to hold on to was PRIDE!

Trust me when I say that this is nothing less than a “bound up, imprisoned, sad way” to exist. It’s not an abundant life in any way, shape or form. Neither the “circumstances of such a life” nor the “actions and events that made up that life” caused the bondage. This life of bondage … a captive in the enemy’s camp … was created and perpetuated completely by pride and self-sufficiency. It was a result of me choosing to believe the lies of the enemy rather than the Truth of God’s Word about me and to me.
It took me more than a decade … perhaps even two decades to “break free” and embrace that “God intends for me to be dependent upon Him.” It’s a Good and “GOD” thing. From “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, today’s devotional reiterates this Truth. And it’s not that God wants to “force” us to be dependent upon Him. He wants us to “choose” that path … He gives us the “freedom and free-will” to be “God-sufficient” rather than “self-sufficient” and thusly, experience the abundant and peaceful life that comes with “that” resolve.
My heart was broken [back then] that Satan stole our blessing of experiencing God’s presence and provision in that season. But in retrospect, I realize that the one who truly missed out, was the one who refused to even look to see God’s Hand at work … God’s loving provision and purpose in our lives.


Matthew Henry once said, “There is none as deaf as one who will not hear. None as blind as one who will not see.”

God’s Word tells us plainly in John 15:5,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

And in Ephesians 6:10, Paul says,

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

We should not let anyone or any circumstance EVER rob us of our total dependency upon God.

We need Him … OH HOW WE NEED HIM!  And He’s “good” with that!

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