Today is the 4th of July and in America that means cookouts, fireworks, family, friends and before Covid, an array of outdoor events to choose from. If you live in an area with a body of water like I do, it usually means time on the lake as well. For this country, this day commemorates the Declaration of Independence . Thirteen colonies declared their independence from England, which was an event that eventually led to the formation of the United States.
Ok, so you got a quick history lesson (that you may or may not have needed). The reason I mentioned it is because the meaning of today got me thinking about the word independence. There is a time and place to be independent in our lives. We learn to walk and no longer have to hold our parents hands in the street. We learn to drive and are able to freely take ourselves to school, work, etc. We move away from home and develop our own way of life. This is the natural progression of things.
A lot of times however, somewhere in the shuffle of becoming independent adults, we think that we truly have it all figured out. We reason that we can keep God in our back pocket, limited to our Sunday mornings, in a quick prayer before we eat, or whenever we need him. We cut the ties of complete dependence on our Heavenly Father and embrace our independence with ego and pride. Or possibly, we had never experienced the fullness of the Lord with complete dependence in the first place.
The truth of the matter is this: WE NEED HIM IN EVERYTHING WE DO. Without total dependence and direction from the Lord in our daily lives, we are left to figure it out as we go, and trust me… that only works for so long before the walls come crashing down. We need to be completely dependent on the Father in every aspect of our life.
This DOES NOT take away our free will or ability to choose. It DOES NOT make us inadequate or incapable. If anything it makes us wise and more capable than ever. It directly aligns us with the heart and will of God. What results from that is better relationships, healthier habits and wiser decisions which all together equals a better life. This does not mean that life will always be smooth sailing but it DOES mean that we will always have light in the darkness, and an understanding of what to do next. I don’t want to do life any other way. I’ve tried both and with total dependence on God, the quality of my heart, mind, spirit, soul and daily life is beyond what I knew was available in this life.
You’ve done it your way. Dare to give God a try with total dependence in every aspect of your life and be amazed at how he shows up. And if you are already walking in faith and dependence, ask God if there is any area of your life that you remain independent in that he would like you to turn over to him. There is always a way to make more room for God. And when you finally feel yourself exhale, when you feel your stomach relax, your shoulders come down and your brow unfurrow… there he is! Revel in that peace.