“Let ME do it!!!” How many times do we find kids making such demands? Youngsters developing independence are eager to take control and do things themselves, which is often a positive effort. However, sometimes the over-zealous self-sufficient aims can end in disaster, and often we wind up jumping in to rescue the child who suddenly realizes they needed help after all. I admit it, there are times when I chuckle silently as I hand an insistent toddler the child-proof container and watch his frustration mount. When this happens I’ll usually also provide a gentle assurance that when the child is ready for help, I am there to provide it.
I smile at the struggling student who so desperately wants to do things alone, and yet I realize that in some ways we do the same thing when it comes to our lives. We think somehow that it is easier to neglect or ignore God, and that we can handle things on our own. We try so hard to be autonomous and capable and we wrestle with tasks and to-dos until our load becomes unbearable…all the while, He is there ready to share the burden and relieve us, smiling and welcoming our eventual admittance of defeat. God promises that He will answer when we call and provide help when we need it.
Think of the people of Israel. Throughout the Bible we witness a cycle of obedience, mistake, repentance, blessing, and mistake again…God’s people continually strayed away. When they wandered too far and realized it, they repented and God blessed them…for a time. In fact, from the very beginning, God’s most precious creation attempted to reject Him and go it alone. Adam and Eve disobeyed because they wanted to be smarter than God. The people in Babel decided that on their own will they could somehow reach heaven… “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4). And what did God do? He scattered them and confused their language.
We cannot attain holiness on our own. We cannot reach God through towers or even rocket ships. Try as we might, we simply cannot do it alone. We are created to be dependent creatures. God gives us one another to build up and support. He also gives us His Son and His spirit, which allow us to connect with Him. So we may as well give in and admit our human insufficiency. A wise parent may allow her son to attempt buckling his own car seat, but knows that for safety’s sake, she needs to fully click it into place. For all of us stubborn and struggling humans, God is there waiting, ready to make sure our belts are clicked safely in. Let’s take a deep breath, lift up our eyes, and hand over our troubles.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7