August 13, 2018
I Do it Myself!
But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I was raised to be an independent and self-sufficient woman. At an early age, I learned that if I wanted something done right, I needed to do it myself. Consequently, when the hard times come, my first response is often to assure God and everyone else that I am fully capable of handling whatever life throws at me. Like the stubborn toddler, I insist that I can “do it myself!” I have trained my heart and mind to believe the lie that I am in control of my fate, fully able to run my own life, and prepared to call my own shots. In other words, I am playing God.
Several years ago, I underwent what I thought was going to be a simple medical procedure, but when I woke up in recovery, I knew I was in trouble. According to the doctor, the surgery went great, but she had not expected to find so much scar tissue and repair work to do, and I certainly had not expected to experience the level of pain, soreness, and inability to function that overwhelmed me.
I was basically helpless.
I had given myself a whole ten days to recuperate, but it was brutally obvious that recuperation was going to be a long time coming. In fact, those ten days I had so generously carved out of my schedule turned into months of painful and slow recovery. I could feel myself sliding into that familiar pit of darkness.
I have a problem with pride. It has always been extremely hard for me to accept help. Remember … I was raised to be strong and independent. When anyone asked what they could do to help out during my recovery, I automatically responded with, “I am fine. I will let you know if I need anything.” Fortunately, my family and friends knew me well and ignored that absurd assertion as they stepped right over my pride. They brought meals, cleaned my house, did our laundry, assumed my teaching and speaking responsibilities, and kept our infant grandson while our daughter attended school three days a week. I could not even get out of bed or go downstairs without help – and I did not like it one bit! In fact, I was furious! Why?
I hate being helpless.
The world says that when we are helpless … we are weak. In God’s economy, the opposite is true. Our helplessness is an invitation for God to show up and show off in our life through the weaknesses we desperately try to hide or disguise.
God calls it pride.
Pride is the gangrene of the soul and the worship of “me.” Pride opposes the reality that we are mortal and refuses to admit that there are limits to self-help. Humility celebrates our desperate need of God and each other.
Lay down whatever circumstance you are wrestling with today. Invite Jesus to take up residence in that circumstance and do what you cannot do. Rest in His strength and power instead of trying to do it yourself.
Father, I am tired of trying to do life on my own. I really can’t do it myself. Today, I lay down my pride and ego and choose to rest in Your strength instead of my own. Thank You for working through the broken places of my life. I love You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Pour out your heart to your God, asking Him to uncover the dark and broken places in your life. As He does, record them in your journal. Admit your helplessness and celebrate His sufficiency. Be honest with yourself and with God. Read Psalm 40:1-3 each day and claim it as God’s promise to you.
More from the Girlfriends
My book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, is my story of desperation, brokenness and restoration. It is also the story of God’s power to help you overcome depression in your own life and offers practical ways you can help someone you love deal with depression. Check it out.
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Originally published Monday, 13 August 2018.