I often wonder what it would be like to have been born into different circumstances. What would life be like for me if I had not been born into a family and a country where (in comparison to the world) is very wealthy? What would it have been like to live, from day one, feeling the pangs of hunger and the terror of an unsettled life around me? All I have known is the comfort of a home, not always a home of wealth, but always a comfortable living and never a time when I didn’t have food available to me.
This further gets me thinking about our faith. Sometimes I think it is so hard to live in the United States, where wealth and opportunity abound. Even the poorest in this country likely do not experience what the poor of the rest of the world does. We learn from a young age in America that you can be whatever you want to be, just work hard, go for it, never give up … and unfortunately we also are told it is all about being within our power. So then, because my mind likes to go down these rabbit trails, how does this life of wealth and opportunity impact our ability (or lack of ability) to be able to rely on God? Do it yourself, you are able, you can do it … all good messages really in so many contexts, but what about when that message translates to our faith? We aren’t supposed to be able to “do it ourselves” … we are supposed to rely on God to help us get through. This then gets me thinking about our choices in serving this incredibly amazing God of power in our lives. How often do we decide about obedience to Him based on what we “feel” we can do? How often has someone told you on your adoption journey, “I couldn’t do that” and how often do you want to say back to them, “neither can I” … are we supposed to be able to do anything God has called us to on our own? If we can do it on our own, are we really stepping out in obedience to His calling? Do we only “obey” when the calling is easy enough to do on our own? It seems to me that with our American culture of wealth and self-sufficiency, we struggle to do the things that really stretch us. The things that truly make us say “Lord HELP me!” I know I have fallen into this mindset of answering the Lord’s call …. where I make sure the calls that I do answer from Him are the ones that feel good and are ones I can handle.
When you really get to intimately watch someone answer the Lord’s call, and obey doing the extremely hard, you realize that most of us are only obedient to the “I can do it” and not so much so when it is the “I can’t do this Lord!” In thinking of these things today it isn’t intended to shame, guilt or point fingers. Really, all I am asking is, are we really dependent on Him? Are we depending upon him for our emotional, physical, financial and spiritual security? If God is asking you to respond to the hard, and you don’t want to, it may very likely be the exact thing you are supposed to be doing. American independence makes DEPENDENCE on God really hard.