I am currently taking a Biblical Narrative class at the seminary I attend, and we are analyzing scripture as a whole to see the story God has been writing for us, and through us, since the He created the earth. Yes, you are a part of a lovely story that the Creator of the universe (and beyond) has chosen you for! To God, we are all intentionally and wonderfully made! Even better, He calls us His daughters, sons, friends and family.
Through seeing this story in its entirety as laid out in scripture, I’m realizing God is bigger, stronger and more reliant than I ever considered. He is so high above anything I could understand yet He stoops down daily to welcome me into relationship with Him. We have never deserved it; we never will. To call His love unconditional is an understatement. It may be better described as indescribable, if that even scrapes the surface of the credit it deserves. His love is the love of a Father. A perfect Father.
In addition to this trend of reconciliation and redemption, within the class we have also been comparing and contrasting the cultures described in the Bible to those we are living in today. The values we have here in America continually become wrapped under one word: Independence. Would you agree this is something we value? The idea of being your own unique, individual self is purported to extremely high importance in our culture.
Isn’t it ironic we are so busy trying to be independent we constantly become more and more reliant on other people? Look around you! Maybe you’re reading this at home. Who made your couch; your tables? Who made your clothes and packaged the food in your pantry? Maybe you’re at a coffee shop. Did you go grind the beans for that coffee yourself? Even better, did you grow the plant those beans came from? You can probably guess where I’m going with this. We are not self-reliant people, regardless of how much we pretend to be.
Truth is, there are a few things we consider necessities in life; that we’re dependent on. Coffee may or may not be one of them for me. However, one thing I truly cannot live without, regardless the season of my life, is the knowledge of and surrender to the love of my God. Friend, the same is true for you! In fact, I think the only way we can truly be confident, self-reliant, unique individuals is to embrace our need for a Savior, a Creator and a King of our lives.
When we bow to God’s will over our lives rather than our own, we become independent of the weight the world could have on us. We become independent of the sin we once carried. We become independent of death, and hate and evil. We embrace passion and purpose and real life. We become free.
I spent six years running from God, and said quite often during that time ‘This is my time to be selfish. I do not want to live for a God I can’t even see. I would rather live for myself, and take care of myself. The only person I can depend on is myself.’ Let me tell you where that got me. Flat on my face, that’s where! I was enveloped in a life full of abusive relationships, frivolous wasted time, selfish desires, an eating disorder, and toxic self-loathing. I ran as far away from God as I could, trying to be the king of my life.
I would be lying if I said I never questioned giving up on my life altogether, but God always snuck hope through the cracks of my doubt. Even when I rejected Him, He pursued me. If you have been tempted to run from God and attempt life on your own for any reason: doubt, feelings of defeat, feelings of unanswered prayers, self-loathing thoughts; let me tell you, there is nothing worse than life without Him. It is not life. There is no purpose; there is no sunlight. There is only a temporal world with temporary promises, and most of those just get broken too.
Our God is a Father that LOVES us. He is a Father that upholds us. He is a Father who is constant and steadfast, reliable and redeeming of all things. He is dependable. He is the maker of life. He is the Creator of all things. He is our chance for real freedom! Always.