A highly unusual independent streak has overtaken my son. While his strong will has always equipped him with independence in thinking – and debating – he’s definitely still more interested in being coddled and taken care of than rising up with initiative in some areas.
Of his own ambition, he read his Bible, prayed and put himself to bed. I understand to most this is not earth-shattering; but in our home, this is the first time ever. And he just turned eight years old! It didn’t stop there. The next day, he prepared lunch for everyone in the house. Then cleaned up. He even asked if he could learn how to vacuum the house (I absolutely taught him!). Through this, God showed me the value of dependence, even when capable of independence.
Many reading this may take pride in the fact that they consider themselves an independent person. Perhaps there is much you accomplish daily and have risen above some great odds that were stacked against you growing up. That is good. Praise God for what has occurred in your life! But for all of us, even in our successes and unique capabilities, we must remember that God calls us to remain dependent on Him. What does that look like?
Zechariah can put himself to bed. He can find his way around the kitchen and clean the house. He knows how to do those things and, when he puts his mind to it, he will. But, at this stage of life, he still prefers resting in Mommy’s arms at night and partaking of the meals I’ve prepared for him. It’s not that he can’t do these things on his own; it’s that he’s learned to appreciate how to rest in the provision of another. Though this dependence won’t look the same as he grows into adolescence and adulthood, it helps paint a picture of what our Father desires for each one of us throughout every stage of our lives.
God has uniquely created each one of us. By nature, we are independent creatures who have learned how to make it in this world. But He never intended for us to do so alone. He never intended for us to figure everything out based on our own cleaver ideas or intellect. He wants us to come to Him, rest in His arms, eat from His table and receive what He has to give. That’s not something we will ever outgrow. Zechariah may not always need or receive from me the same way he does today, but we will always need God. Sure, we can go through the motions on our own and probably figure out a way to make things work; but it won’t be the way He intended. He wants us to live from a place of rest, knowing that – even though we can do much for ourselves – we don’t have to. We don’t have to be the hard rock that never cracks and appears to consistently have it all together. We can be His child and let Him coddle and take care of us. We can be vulnerable in His Presence and allow Him to hold us when we’re weak, and when we are strong.
I don’t have to tuck Zechariah in every night and make his meals; in this season, I get to. I get to hold him in my arms, provide for his needs, teach him new things and help him grow into the man that God designed him to be. And he doesn’t have to receive my embrace and support, but he chooses to. We all have a choice. We can go through our days in our own strength, trying to figure it out on our own; or we can go to God, rest in Him and receive all that He has to give. We can do either. But, with Zechariah, I choose the latter.