I am not exactly sure how our family tradition began but given the track record of New Year’s resolutions, it’s probably a good thing.
Instead of creating such lists, we instead pick a word of special significance to help guide our thoughts during the year.
For 2023, mine is “dependent” — a much-maligned word often considered a sign of weakness, not strength. But, to me, it’s a beautiful word and comfort as I face a world that certainly seems to be coming more and more unglued with each passing day.
In the America built from rugged individualism, in the corporate world of the “self-made man,” and in the world of advertising and social media screaming “me” vs. “we,” being “dependent” can be downright countercultural.
But that’s the point. It is. I need to remind myself every day that I am not the boss or the star of the screenplay I write. God is and my story is His story. He's the center of the universe and not me. Scriptures like John 15:5 couldn’t be clearer.
Without God, it says, I (and we) can do nothing. I am a branch of His tree. It is He who writes the script of my life and controls the day-to-day ebb and flow of everything. That includes history, politics, my job, my marriage, my parenthood and my daily struggle with sin which, simply put, is the urge to be “independent” like Adam and act like I know what’s better for me than the God who created me and everything else.
Each day, since only God truly knows what’s next, I have a choice: Be independent and go my own way or be dependent and trust in Him.
Time and time again, His story of my life has demonstrated the wisdom of the latter choice. There is no way I could have otherwise survived the stress of working multiple jobs to stay afloat financially when our kids were little.
I could not have endured the multiple major medical crises that followed with two of our children: one that could have taken our son’s life and another that could have irrevocably altered the career and life trajectory of one of his sisters had she not been healed.
Most recently, I probably would have lost heart in 2021 when a change in corporate leadership and culture left this 60-something communicator without a job for the first time. I was closing in on 25 years with this same company.
As hard as it was, I learned to depend on Him each day of the job search — doing my part and trusting Him with the rest, including the days I doubted and forgot what I knew in my heart to be true. Six months later, I found myself blessed indeed with a wonderful job.
The older I get, the more dependent I realize I am.
Weary, tired, beaten down, feel like you are caring the weight of the world on your shoulders? Matthew 11:28 has your answer: Come to Jesus and put your faith and trust in Him.
In an undependable world, this dependable Savior, Jesus, remains our only hope.
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