My mother used to say that I tried to run even before I could crawl. I was always so eager and in a hurry to get to places. And I wanted to get there on my own. When I first started driving, I hit 80 miles/h within the week. I wanted to get from point A to point B in the shortest time possible. I hated the brakes.
In the last decade, however, God has taught me to slow down…way down. He has taught me to keep my foot on the brake pedals – sometimes to a complete halt. He has taught me how to be patient. He taught me how to wait. And in one of those seasons in the wilderness, He taught me dependency. It was difficult – almost painful!
A season of dependency in the wilderness with God feels like winter when everything looks barren and dead. But, it is also when we rest and let our roots grow, much like trees.
After a lifetime of me trying to perfect the art of being independent, God began to unravel my art. He took apart my carefully adorned canvas. I began to learn that true maturity in Christ means dependency – solely and completely dependent on Him.
And like many other things in the Christian walk, Christ-like dependency was a bit of a paradox to me because it also involves a community.
You see, God wants us to first lean on Him without any crutches. He will sometimes isolate us and take away all our safety nets so we rest only in Him and then when we do, He begins to send people our way.
God likes to use a community to sustain and keep us in check. He never meant for us to walk this journey alone.
I’ll be honest; the idea of a community was (and sometimes still is) tough for me. It initially felt odd. Truth is, I had preferred to cast my social net over a few than wide.
The concept of ‘church-family’ was foreign to me because I never truly experienced a conventional family before. And at first, I didn’t understand how and where they fit into my way of life. In many ways, I’m still learning.
But, God’s way of life involves people.
Proverbs 24:6 says, “for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” We need wise voices to speak into our lives so we stay on course and finish well. We need witnesses to have our backs in our trials and struggles.
People are a necessity in life, not an option.
For me, it wasn’t easy to let people in and it was harder still to accept help because that meant letting go of independence. But, I’ve learned that independence is not all that its cracked up to be. Or at least, it is nothing close to what the world leads us to believe.
Let’s face it, no one can be completely independent; we can’t watch our own back. Aside from the fact that it is literally impossible, that kind of “independence” forces us to always look over our shoulder. And it won’t be long before we lose sight of what is ahead or around us.
Independence can be lonely. The pages are only a few.
Community helps us write the story of our life. People are the plot and no story can survive without one!
When we begin to wholly depend on God, we will learn to trust Him fully and that trust will always overflow into all areas of our life. We will then learn to trust and let people in. When we begin to do that, we will see our need for community.
We will realise the importance of slowing down. We will begin to invest in people, patiently. And a lot of the times, we will see the need to step on the brakes and linger for a while. That’s when our real story will begin to write itself.
Who’s in YOUR story??
previously published in Ruby Magazine