Why is it that I only show true reliance on Jesus when I’m going through rocky times? I’ve been working on processing an answer to this difficult and disturbing question for the last few days. A few months back, I experienced a personal tragedy in my life that sent me running (really, beelining) to the Lord for the comfort, direction, and peace that only He could bring. As a result, He pressed on me the desire to join a women’s group at my church, to meet one-on-one with the group leader at Panera’s, and to start building friendships with some of the other Christian women at my church. Boy, did I feel good! After the study ended and I found myself in a better place spiritually and emotionally, my outings started becoming more sparse and even my time spent in Bible reading, prayer, and devotion started sinking depressingly low. Looking back, I’m forced to ask myself the question “Why?”.
The answer can be summed up in two words: independence and conceit. Dictionary.com defines independence as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” I must admit that I’m naturally a very independent, self-sufficient person, to the point where my husband has jokingly commented that I don’t even need him around! That comes from many years of living on my own before getting married. When times are hunky-dory, I find myself relying on me, myself, and I for just about everything. But when times aren’t so swell and life seems to be throwing me curve balls, I find that I need someone bigger, better, wiser than myself to step in for me and to ‘play those innings.’
If I can wholeheartedly admit that Jesus is my answer when life throws those curve balls, and if He’s as wise, as big, and as strong as I know He is and is the provider of all good things (James 1:17), then why wouldn’t I ALWAYS want Him batting for me? Really, I think I could do life better than He can?!?! Wow! Sounds a little conceited, doesn’t it?
As I start into another new year, my prayer (for myself and for anyone reading this) is that we will learn how to truly rely on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Wonderful Counselor, the Provider, not only when times are bad, but when they’re good as well.