I Can Do It Myself

When my grandson, Xavier, was about 2 years old my daughter called me one day in frustration. It seems Xavier had gone from being complacent to being “difficult”. He wanted to do things by himself–getting dressed, putting on his shoes, and deciding what he was going to eat. “I can do it myself,” he would yell and my daughter was exasperated. He would get angry and frustrated when he couldn’t zip his coat or his shoes were on the wrong feet. I explained it was part of growing up and learning independence and she should let him do things for himself, within reason. Of course, he had to understand there were things he couldn’t do by himself, at his level of maturity, and needed his mother’s help.

As Christians, we experience the same growing pains. There are things God wants us to learn to do for ourselves without his constant prompting–reading our Bibles, spending time with him each day and communicating with him in prayer. But, there are other areas of our lives where we need his help. Its so easy, when faced with situations in our lives, to say, “I can do it myself” but we end up frustrated and angry because the end result is messy. As humans we like to think we are in control of our circumstances but the fact of the matter is God has the final say.

Our proclivity for independence is actually based in sin and more specifically pride. All sin is founded in pride because it originates with its creator, Satan. Satan was thrown down from Heaven because of pride and the first sin committed by Adam and Eve was based in pride. Being like God and believing we don’t need his help in our lives is prideful. We were not created to be independent of our God but to recognize our need for him in our lives.

Isaiah has a wonderful illustration of this. In Isaiah 45:9 it says, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?'” I’m not very artistically creative but I know clay is meant to be molded into whatever shape the potter desires. It doesn’t fight back or say, “I don’t  want to be a dumb old vase.” It relies on the skill of the creator and is satisfied with the end result. We might think we know better than our creator but he has our end result in mind. If we give ourselves over to him and allow him to mold us our lives will be less frustrating.

I am not always a good lump of clay. I question my creator or try to mold myself and end up with a horrible mess. I remind myself every day to let God be God so my life can be a masterpiece instead of in pieces.

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The Check

God is the God of hope. When we trust him and rely on him to take care of our needs he often goes above and beyond our expectations in the most unusual ways. I’d like to share a story which might give you hope today.

This past year has been a difficult one for me financially. Having Crohn’s disease has prevented me from having a full-time job and I have been diligently working from home doing a few different odd jobs which provided enough for me to pay bills. As Christmas time approached, I started to become despondent. I have four beautiful grandchildren I love to spoil during the holidays and I knew I would be unable to give them anything this year because I simply didn’t have the money.

Now, as a Christian I know Christmas is not about giving gifts. It is a celebration of God’s gift to us, Jesus Christ, who was born so he could redeem us. But, as a grandma I love to show my devotion to my grandchildren by giving them something nice during the holiday. My heart was heavy and at one point I cried. I literally cried. “God, I just want to give my grandbabies something for Christmas.”

I know it might seem trivial but it was important to me. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Cast all your cares on him for he cares for you.” God hears our prayers no matter how insignificant we might think our prayer request is. God cares for us and for what we deem important.

Today, my devotional reiterated “hope” and how hope is not wishful thinking but it is trusting God in all things. I went about my daily routine and ran some errands. When I got home, I checked the mailbox which was full of envelopes. As I sifted through the letters, I saw one from my old homeowner’s insurance company. I couldn’t imagine why they were sending me a letter since they had cancelled my insurance after a flood claim. I almost set the letter aside but decided to open it.

Inside was a check for $500. It seems they had not given me enough for the flood claim and after an audit found the mistake and sent me the check. I was immediately humbled and started to cry. God had heard my prayer, he knew the longing of my heart and he answered in a way I would only recognize his hand in it. It was no coincidence or lucky happening. This was God caring about my cares and saying, “I hear you.”

No matter your circumstances today, God is listening and if we trust him we will receive an answer to our deepest prayers. “Cast your cares on him because he cares for you.”