Here in the great U.S. of A. we put a tremendous value on independence. In fact, it is what we celebrate today – our independence from Great Britain way back in 1776. Most Americans started as immigrants who came over with little or nothing and pulled themselves up by hard work. Independence came through prosperity which was the direct result of sacrifice and labor.
When rearing our children, we raise them to be self-sufficient, responsible, moral human beings. We hope that they will be able to get a good job upon completion of college coursework, so that they will be Independent. Much value is placed on that word in this country.
Ironically, as Christians, God asks us to be dependent – in fact – totally reliant on Him. He asks us to have the trust of a child when approaching Him. Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) God tells us that without being deeply connected to Him, we can do nothing. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It is no surprise that our faith is counter cultural. What God asks of us is often in direct opposition to what the world asks of us. To follow Him – to be true disciples – we have to be willing to let go – to give up our prized independence and to trust Him without reserve. It’s not easy. It’s like stepping out of the boat onto the water, as Peter did.
Sometimes we take a few steps toward Jesus, before we realize just what it is we are doing. Once we catch ourselves letting go, we begin to sink, panic and reach out for His hand. It’s o.k. Life is a process – of giving it over – then taking it back – giving it over – taking it back. Hopefully with prayer and practice, the periods of time when we are able to trust in Him completely become lengthened. Relying fully on Him- who knows?? – we just may walk on water!
Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”