Lately I’ve noticed myself becoming more self sufficient again.
This is the result of years and years of focusing on me. What I want. What I need.
It’s easy to slip into this when you are young and don’t have responsibilites to anyone else on a daily basis. You would have thought that marriage and parenting would have changed that in me. To some degree it did first with G and then when M was born. I had to sacrifice certain things. I had to learn how to turn to God when I couldn’t muster up my own strength. Once we got past the first couple of years and all of the medical challenges surrounding M’s birth, I found myself putting my priorities first again without even realizing it. Since N was born seven months ago with severe special needs I relearned my lesson of depending on God, not my trusty self, all over again. Because as much as I think I know best how to take care of my family. I’m learning there is a better way. This is such a great passage, and reminder, from Phillip Yancy’s book, Where is God When it Hurts?
My understanding of the Beatitudes has undergone a radical change. I no longer see them as a sop thrown by Jesus to the unfortunates of the world. I view them not as patronizing slogans, but as profound insights into the mystery of human existence. The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer truly are blessed. Not because of their miserable states, of course – Jesus spent much of his life trying to remedy those miseries. Rather, they are blessed because of an innate advantage they hold over people more comfortable and self-sufficient.
Self-sufficiency, which first reared its head in the Garden of Eden, is the most fatal sin because it pulls us as if by a magnet away from God. The suffering and the poor have the advantage that their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them every day. They must turn somewhere for strength, and sometimes they turn to God. People who are rich, successful and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts. But there’s a chance, just a chance, that people who lack such natural advantages may cry out to God in their time of need.
In summary, through no choice of their own – they may urgently wish otherwise – suffering and oppressed people find themselves in a posture that befits the grace of God. They are needy, dependent, and dissatisfied with life; for that reason they may welcome God’s free gift of love.
I love being close to God. I don’t know why I choose another way – my way – so often. I should know by now that it doesn’t work nearly as well as God’s way. He’s showing me this – the hard way – over and over and over again.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!