Written by Brooke O'Donnell Monday, 04 March 2013 01:06
From a young age I have always had a tendency to be independent. Whether it was making my own lunch, putting together a puzzle, or getting ready for the day, I liked to do it on my own. That same independence is still a core part of who I am. I don’t like the idea of being needy or as I sometimes view it “burdening others.” Not necessarily a bad characteristic but dangerous in the sense that I find myself relying my own strength and capabilities rather than God’s. I've written a few blogs in the past about my constant struggle with this so I think it’s safe to say that this is what Paul would call the “thorn in my side” (2 Corinthians 12:7). As this tour has been filled with a lot of ups and downs, I am humbled again by how patiently and lovingly God gives me reminders of how much I am in need of Him.
In the past some of my reminders have come through the form of injuries or struggling with music but this one came from a book that I am currently reading, “Radical” by David Platt. While there are many life applications to draw from the book, what he talks about in chapter 3 was that little reminder I needed. He talks about how as a society, we try to live up to this idea of the “American Dream” which is described by James Truslow Adams as: “a dream…in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest statute of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are” (“Radical” 45-46).
It seems like an innocent concept. Hard work and having dreams aren't bad things. As Platt points out, where the theory of the “American dream can run us into trouble is the fact that it’s all about what you can accomplish based on your capabilities and how much you trust and believe in yourself. While I’m not necessarily trying to live up to the “American Dream”, I am trying to handle life’s challenges with my own strength and ability.
Plott continued with John 15:5:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
This passage hit close to home for me. I have come to realize that I am needy. I need God to get me through the tough days. I can try to do things on my own but as a human, I am bound to fail. Without God and His unfailing love and strength, I can do nothing. So if you’re going through a tough situation, feeling as though all of your strength is gone, I want to leave you with this passage from Psalm 73:26 that has brought me some encouragement recently:
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
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