Devotion: The Fallacy of Our Independence

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

My sin was exposed yesterday.

My car was in the repair shop, and I had appointments all around town. Being without a car exposed the core issue all of us struggle with…we want to deny our dependence on others.

People offered to drop me where I needed to go, but I proudly said, “It’s alright, I’ve got this.” My wife generously wanted to meet me, but I snapped, “It’s fine, I can just pay for an Uber.” At the core, I wanted to be independent….but without a car, I was dependent on others.

We long for independence. As adolescents we want to live on our own. Many couples feel suffocated in their marriage, and so I like to explain to future grooms: “Once you are married, you have to tell your wife where you are going even if you are just going to get a loaf of bread.” We want to be our own bosses. Even Adam and Eve took the fruit in an attempt to gain their independence from God.

In our feeble attempts, we try to gain this independence by taking control and failing to trust our lives are completely dependent on God and other people. This is why the word “faith” in Greek is also translated as “trust.” At its core, faith is our trusting dependence on God.

It is an acknowledgement of our finitude, which I also experienced yesterday. As my Uber driver ran a red light on Independence, I was suddenly reminded of my mortality and utter dependence on God and others.

Each day, we can either try to deny our dependence by taking control or realize our utter dependence and trust God and others. We will eventually collapse if we try to lean on our own understanding, but as we trust God daily we will discover the joy of being dependent.

Trust and dependence is a place of vulnerability. It is a place where we can be hurt and hurt others. It is a place of nakedness, but in that state we discover the depth of God’s love. It will strangely make our paths smoother and more direct than our feeble attempts to take control.

So take a moment today to notice how you are dependent on others.

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