“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” (II Corinthians 3:5, ESV)
At what point in life do we begin our push to handle things ourselves and prove our independence? Soon—very soon. Just listen to any toddler and before long you will hear him declare, “I can do it myself!” Whether it’s fastening their shoes, putting together a puzzle, or other simple tasks an adult could quickly do, that independent spirit exerts itself at a young age.
That same do-it-myself attitude shows up in my own life, and if you are honest, in yours as well. Probably more often than any of us care to admit.
A few years ago, an accident left me unable to use my right hand for several weeks. What a learning experience! We seldom think about what a marvel the human body is as its various parts function smoothly together. With only one hand, even simple tasks became awkward and time-consuming. Brushing my teeth lefthanded, getting dressed, tucking the bed sheets, folding clothes, opening a jar—a multitude of simple daily tasks were no longer simple. Some could not be done at all. I had to ask for help and depend on the kindness of others. Inside I was silently saying, “But I want to do it myself.”
My independent streak did not just appear after my accident. How many times have I—and probably you as well—brushed aside the offer of help from a friend, even if that help would have made the task at hand much easier? How many times have we done the same thing with God?
An acquaintance once informed me, “Oh, I never pray for things for myself. I only pray for others.” She seemed so proud of her self-sufficiency. Her statement puzzled me. Was she afraid to “bother God” with her needs? Or was it an unwillingness to trust His goodness and surrender herself to His will in the situation? Did she really think her solutions to life’s problems were better than God’s? Whatever her reasons, she declined the best help available in any situation.
Are we only to bring important things to God and handle the smaller problems ourselves? Are we being “considerate” by not “bothering” Him? Or is that our pride trying to prove, “I can do it myself!” Dwight L. Moody stated, “Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment . . . but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.”
God cares about every problem we face in life, big or small. His Word assures us that He is concerned about everything, not just the major things we go through. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7, NKJV).
Accept that it’s okay to receive help—from friends and from God. He assures us:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:13, ESV).
Lord, I recognize that my independent streak sometimes has me pushing forward under my own power instead of allowing You to step in and lift the load. Help me to remember that You love me and desire to help with the problems I face. Remind me that when I am weak, I can lean into Your strength. I can cast all my problems, all my anxieties, all my needs on You because You care so very much for me.