… for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Get ready, y’all. I’m about to blow your mind. Prepare yourself.
You need God.
I know, I know. You are absolutely underwhelmed, right? So let’s walk through this. It’s not news that you need Him. You know. It’s in your head. But it’s buried pretty deep, under the heaps of other things that you know.
When I say you need God, I mean that you are completely dependent on Him at all times. That’s what needs to sink in. At all times.
If you’re like me, the awareness of that need stays buried under all the other things you think you need. Until a crisis occurs. The kind of crisis that snatches control from your hands, and yanks that need from underneath your responsibilities and errands and schedules and all the circles that you run everyday. Crisis catapults your need for God from the bottom of the pile to the top, from some inner recess of your brain to the outermost layer of your skin. Where it can be worn on top of all your exposed nerves.
The truth is, you never had control over anything in the first place. Not really. Sure, you work hard, you get a raise. Without your input, that result never transpires. As long as we feel like our performance has something to do with things going well, we forget how much gratitude we owe the Lord. But what about the miscarriage or diagnosis or broken relationship that we weren’t expecting? We have no power to prevent or improve those circumstances.
I’ve been in this situation a few times. Crisis struck, and what I knew to be true about God–that I need Him–was violently shoved to the top of the pile. The last time was a few years ago when my husband lost his job. It could not have come at a worse time. I had not worked in a couple of years, we were running out of money to keep us afloat, so I had been trying to get my foot back in the door at my school. Nothing had come available full time, so I subbed here and there. We were praying for God to open a door for me to jump through. I already sensed that the solution to our problem was out of my hands. God would have to come through for us. Then Todd was laid off.
“God, what are you doing?!” It’s funny that when things were going well, it was all up to me. But once things fell apart, it was all God’s fault.
I spent a lot of time in my journal during that time. One day I was begging God to pull us up out of the nosedive before we went SPLAT. I’m not sure what changed, but these words came out of my pen: On your best day—when everyone is gainfully employed and no one is sick and there’s no crisis and nothing to fear—on that day, you were completely dependent on Him.
Before I knew it, I had boarded a wild train ride of thought. For my whole adult life I’d been congratulating myself for all my hard work, but where did I think all my talents and abilities had come from? Even the things I believe are up to me couldn’t happen without God making me me. He created me with abilities. I use those to teach, to write, to be a mom, a wife, a friend. Those gifts from God are what earn me a paycheck, and as a believer, I work and serve with those gifts as acts of worship.
Apart from Him, I can do nothing. Not even worship.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5 (ESV)
The crisis forces us to abide harder, I guess you could say. But this crisis gave me a revelation. Coming to that realization, that I really am not a teacher or a writer without Him, changed everything. We should abide a little harder every day knowing that each moment and each outcome are in His hands.
Blessings and peace,