My most hated type of prayers are also my favorite type of prayers. The prayers of when I completely fall apart. The prayers of when I crumble, but God is there to pick up the pieces. The prayers of when the world seems too big to understand. My favorite and most hated is when I pray out loud to God in utter helplessness. These are so desperate, so needed, so real, so authentic. Even though my head feels three sizing too small, my soul feels like just enough.
My most hated prayer is when I give everything over to God in dependency.
My favorite prayer is when I give everything over to God in dependency.
Dependency is so hard, to let go, to let someone else take control even if they are more capable, to acknowledge it cannot be done alone.
To be dependent is more than just to put complete trust in someone or something. To be dependent is like allowing yourself to drown because you know the lifeguard will save you. In those horrible moments of panic, all you can think about is how to save yourself, not about the lifeguard diving in to rescue you. You keep thinking about the water you swallowed, fighting to keep afloat and how scary the water just became after a few seconds. Eventually when the lifeguard does come to save you, you fight him because in those moments of panic you still believe that you are more capable.
When my uncle was training to become a State Policeman, he had to save someone from drowning as a training exercise. The first time my uncle tried to save the person who was pretending to drown, my uncle almost drown trying to save him because he was fighting him so much. So when my uncle had to try again the next time, he swam right out and knocked out the man pretending to drown so that he would not fight my uncle.
When Jesus is trying to reach out and save us, we sometimes fight him believing that we are big boys and girls and can do it all by ourselves. We can’t.
When the divorce papers are on the table, you turn to the bottle and not Jesus.
When the doctor says cancer, you turn into a mean pessimistic depression and not a Christian outlook.
When abuse, terrorism, job loss are at your doorstep, you turn into the angry ‘troll’ online instead of God’s word.
And oh it can be so hard, so so hard. You will do anything to cope even if you know that it is not the right coarse of action. You will fight the waters in a panicked frenzy even though you see the lifeguard coming to help.
But God is there; God is always there. Cliche right? But we use it so much because it is true. You need to stop fighting and start trusting your lifeguard. You need to be dependent on the Almighty God.
But it is against our nature. We want control, we want to know the future, we want to forge our own destiny.
But God wants you to be his child again. A child so dependent, there’s that word again, on his parents.
Did you ever think about Jesus in The Garden of Gethsemane? He didn’t want to die, he didn’t want to be mocked and beaten, he didn’t want to have all those hundreds of trillions of sins pummeled against him. He didn’t want to have to go through that so bad, he sweat blood.
Well I have cried, had panic attacks and been unable to stand against the world, but never sweat blood; I don’t anyone ever has.
Jesus undoubtedly did not want to do this, but he did because he trusted God’s will. He was dependent on God.
Now, I am not saying that God will make you die a horrible death like Jesus by any means. But what I am saying is that Jesus came down to earth to show the greatest example of what dependency on his Father looks like.
I am pretty sure that it was not fun by any standards, and giving everything over to God isn’t either. But it is needed.
Jesus died on that cross today two thousand years ago because we needed to be saved from our sins. Because we needed the ability to reach out to that lifeguard when we are drowning. He died so that I could pray my favorite and hated type of prayers.
So I challenge you this Good Friday to try to be dependent on God. Try to allow him to lead. Try to let go and let him pull you to shore.
I know it can be so difficult, but sometimes Jesus just needs to knock you over the head and let you trust him.
So stop drowning and call out to the best lifeguard in the world.