Well, elections are over. And as Americans whinny "woo hoos!" or wail "boo hoos!" over the results, I find myself worlds away pondering, not the glories of independence and the stars and stripes, but the sanctity of dependence in the Christian life.
Dependence? Ick. It reeks of weakness and helplessness -- void of security, self sufficiency and all those things we cherish most. For those of us who are Americans, our culture and national history and pride are rooted in independence. It represents a fundamental element of our national identity. And as a result, I fear, it oozes over into our understanding of the Christian life.
But let me throw in a curve ball. What if God never created us for independence?
Think about it. From the earliest days of creation in the garden, when the world was perfect, man was not independent. He was truly DEpendent on God for everything and he knew it. God provided his food, his water, and even his companionship. Man recognized God as truly Jehovah Jireh.
It was man's demand for independence that got him into trouble there.
Now we go through life masquerading under a facade of independence, but are we really so independent? Children depend on parents, husbands on wives and vice versa. Families and individuals depend on their jobs. Many older people depend on social security... etc. The list goes on and on.
So it is not that we are truly INdependent. It is simply that we are independent of God. Perhaps one's true god is what he depends upon most -- be it one's work, one's belongings, one's money, one's romantic interest/spouse/ child, or even a presidential candidate.
I recently read the book, The Shack. In it, William Young paints a beautiful representation of the interdependence of the Godhead, rooted in the purest deepest form of love and fellowship. He longs for us to tap into it, but that comes only if we surrender that independence that charms us most -- which is little more than dependence on things other than God himself. It demands a breaking.
Oswald Chambers put it this way in Monday's devotional: "Has that breaking of my independence come? All the rest is religious fraud. The one point to decide is— will I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will come? I must be broken from my own understanding of myself. When I reach that point, immediately the reality of the supernatural identification with Jesus Christ takes place. And the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable— 'I have been crucified with Christ . . . .'"
Want to do something radical? How about declaring DEpendence day. Ironically, that day of surrender may bring the greatest victory your life has ever known.
Can we say, "I want dependence!" Dependence, no matter what God asks me to walk through, however the brokenness may come, I give up the right to know "why"all the time. I make the choice to simply depend.