You cannot depend on anyone. If you want something done right, do it yourself. If you want something to happen, make it happen. These are just a few phrases that were drilled into my head from early childhood. We live in a society that focuses on independence and prioritizes success above all else. Wealth, fame, and busyness are the metrics to determine how well we are measuring up among our peers. Getting a good education, a “good” job, a spouse, 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence are ways to determine how perfect we are. Anything less than perfect is unacceptable.
But what if we have it all wrong? Independence fosters dependence on the wrong things. When we are focused on doing things ourselves, we are not depending upon our Heavenly Father for provisions. When this happens, the world’s whispers become screams and we can only focus on comparing ourselves to those around us. We began to desire more, to strive for more. We believe that if we have more things and more money then we will finally have enough. We start looking to things to determine our worth. And no one ever tells us how much is enough.
When my husband and I first got married, we immediately started looking for a home to buy. Once we had purchased a home, we started filling the rooms with things. We were trapped in a vicious cycle of attempting to chase the American Dream. We traded one of our cars in for a newer one. We had a house full of things. A garage full of things. And a heart that was longing for more.
It took about 3 years to realize that we were chasing something that we would never catch. If we did not look to something besides wordly things to determine our worth, we would drown in a sea of comparison and we would never measure up. We longed for freedom and we knew that we were being bound by our worldly desires.
To be completely honest with you, the thought of relying completely on God for provision was absolutely terrifying. Relying on anything outside of myself was more than my controlling tendencies could take. But friends, now that I am on the other side, I can honestly say: there is freedom in depending on God’s provision.
His word has been whispering that truth to me my entire life. Give us this day our daily bread. Jesus taught us to ask for God’s provision when he taught the disciples to pray. In Matthew 6:11, Jesus is telling the disciples that God will provide for our needs. Yes, our needs are often different than our wants. However each time we pray, we are inviting God into community with us. We are asking him to make his desires, our desires. We are telling him that we trust fully in Him and we are not depending upon our own understanding. Proverbs 3: 4-6 says if we trust in him and seek his will above our own, he will always show us which path to take.