When things are going well, we’re comfortable, life feels easy, people are healthy, friendships are stable, work is not tumultuous…it all makes it so easy to think that we’re in control. And easy to forget how deeply dependent we are on God.
Perhaps for some of us it’s a blatant disregard of this dependency because we believe everything we have is because we’ve hustled and earned it ourselves. Or it may be that we don’t think much of Him outside of whatever weekly traditions we practice; throwing up a thanks every Sunday before we get back to all that striving and earning. Maybe we thank Him, for His goodness, but in reality are just thanking Him for the things in our lives that are good. These surrounding comforts are so worthy of gratitude but can often distract us from the only One who can fulfill our deepest needs. Perhaps we even say, beyond all these good things you’ve given us- thank you Father for who you are. But can we sing of His goodness in the middle of the storm, when everything feels like it’s caving in on itself? Our logic and hypotheticals may say yes, but I believe it is the trials and hard seasons that truly sift our hearts in this way.
This has been my experience anyway. I knew theoretically that I needed Him, that I would choose Him in every season. But until my comforts were disrupted I had yet to truly experience this deep need. Over the years I’ve had moments and paradigm-shifting seasons, but not the turn-your-world-upside-down kind of experiences. It’s so easy to half-fill many of our needs elsewhere. My needs for love, safety, meaning and purpose had often survived on relationships with family and friends, meaningful vocation, stable income, etc. etc. My many privileges, of which I am sincerely grateful for, can often obscure what true dependence on God looks and feels like. I’ve hit some new lows in this season of infertility and working in the ICU amidst Covid. And I imagine these experiences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the hardships I’ll face in my lifetime.
Yet these challenges have postured my heart from one of self-sufficiency to one that is in desperate need of His saving grace. While I rarely find myself thanking God for the circumstances which have brought this dependence to light, I can honestly say that life, and my experience of His mercy, love, and hope are all the richer for this dependence. For that I am humbled and grateful.