There’s one message that I’ve been hearing loud and clear lately: “Depend on Me.”
When I say I’ve heard this, I don’t mean in some loud, audible voice, but rather, I mean, in a constant, every-time-you-read-you’re-going-to-get-to-this-point type of way. You know what I’m talking about? Every deeply focused conversation, every time I see the brokenness in my own life and in the lives around me, and every time I pick up the Bible, I am gently reminded of the same thing…
We are desperate people who can only make it through life with a sincere dependence upon the Lord. (And by ‘make it through life’ I don’t mean merely survive – for all of us can do that to a certain extent. I mean live a life that points others toward a God of grace, love, and eternal life. I mean to live life in a way that outlives you – that has an eternal impact that reaches beyond yourself. That’s what I mean…)
Life has been moving pretty fast for the past several months (which is probably the reason why I haven’t updated my blog in a while). I got married (on December 29th), went on a SWEET honeymoon to Puerto Rico, moved to Boston, and began living in 600 square foot apartment with Mr. Weatherl, my husband. Between the wedding festivities and living with a man for the first time in my life, things have been…well…a little all over the place.
(I have to confess that the funniest moment post-honeymoon has been trying to explain to my husband what a duvet cover is. Hint to all future wives: Just tell him it’s a pillowcase for a comforter.)
Last Thursday, I felt defeated. Marriage felt hard. Being a woman felt hard. Past struggles started to creep back up, and all I wanted to do was…I don’t know…watch a movie or something. Since it was the beginning of the day, I had the notion that I should do something more productive with my time and work to redirect my thoughts on something beyond myself and the way I was feeling.
I opened the Bible and was encouraged by what I read.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked…but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).
I want to live this way. I want to live a life that is strong, one that is fruitful (brings nourishment to others), and one that draws people toward the Lord, but, if I’m being honest with you (as I am being), this isn’t the way I’ve been living lately.
Marriage has made this clear to me.
I can be passive aggressive at times. I can use my tongue to say destructive things rather than constructive things. I lack gratitude for the things the Lord has blessed me with – and the things He has withheld from me. I often times turn to coping mechanisms to deal with frustration and anger instead of Jesus and his ability to help me.
I end up lost and feeling like I’m stuck in an endless cycle of bad decisions and bad attitudes – and I don’t know how to get it to stop.
The magic word is dependence.
Psalm 1 doesn’t tell me how to fix myself, but instead encourages me to focus on Jesus. Psalm 1 doesn’t ‘dog’ on me and tell me I’m not doing good enough, it just reminds me to think about how the Lord is enough. Psalm 1 tells me that there’s blessing in walking with the Lord. By walking with the Lord, even if hard things happen and everything in life seems to be going in the opposite direction than I had planned, there’s a deep down assurance that He’s in control and, ultimately, I am going to experience life to the maximum capacity in Heaven. While I’m here on earth, though, the goal is to delight in Him (and if I don’t, I should pray that I do).
Rejoice in who He is, what He’s done, and what He’s doing.
Meditate on Him, think about Him, and don’t just compartmentalize Him to one part of your day.
Let Him own your day…every day.
Don’t make of a list of dos and don’ts – just depend on Him, and He’ll grow me.
You see, my life was once marked by chaos and distance from God, which meant that my destiny was not looking great, but because of Jesus, and His ability to call my heart to His, my life has been flipped around and set in a different direction.
My relationship with God started with dependence. It started with the surrendering of myself and the way I had been doing things for a new way of life – a new way of thinking. It started by seeing the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and believing that it was the ultimate and most perfect sacrifice that could be made for mankind, and placing my trust in it. Salvation didn’t come to me through self-dependence or my own ability to be good enough – it came through believing He was enough.
Today, as I’m navigating through life, dependence is still the goal.
When I feel lonely because I miss my Dallas friends and just want to be upset about it, I must depend on Him to comfort me. When I feel confused about the direction to take job wise, I must depend and trust in His ability to lead me. When I don’t know how to handle marital conflict or how to be an encouraging wife, I must depend on Him to humble me and open my eyes to all of the wonderful things happening around me.
Dependence. It’s always been dependence.
Oh, how quickly I forget.