I understand I have needs. Do you? Having grown up as a red blooded, independent spirited “Merican,” there is a tendency over a lifetime to grit one’s teeth and try to accomplish everything yourself. After all, who wants to admit their shortcomings or weaknesses? Over the years we even begin to see our abilities morph into what we might consider “not so abilities.” Not everything is as easily accomplished as it once was, and perhaps not as well either. Age will ensure this becomes a reality if you haven’t yet hit this wall yourself.
Looking more broadly at life, it’s really ok, in fact, it’s rather good that not everyone is put together like me – – or like you either for that matter. It’s easy for us to misread our needs as weaknesses. Then we can try to hide them and call it self-reliance. Or, we could pretend we have no needs and call it independence. Or, we believe that no-one should have to help meet our needs and call it strength. That can sound real spiritual, I suppose. I don’t need to bother you or lean on you or reveal my real self to you. Would it be mature or immature to say “I don’t need you?”
Actually, I think the opposite is closer to the truth. I think God built and “hardwired” us with certain limitations as well as abilities so that we could sense a need for involvement in our lives by others. By God’s intention, none of us were created to be the “total package.” Somewhere between sin and arrogance we come to view our needs as weaknesses and conceal them while God stands ready to provide for us from His resources and through human compassion and companionship. We were made for relationships . . . made to need God and one another . . . to give and receive as we have needs and see needs in others. This is a God quality that in a significant way defines God’s character working in and through us. Are you experiencing this or are you trying to “tough life out” solo?
Having our needs met by others and meeting the needs of others allows us to experience love. Often sacrifice is a part of this, making this expression even sweeter. How strong have you built your defenses to safeguard your image of having it all together? You do know God laughs at that. He knows at the core we are made of fragile stuff whether we have come to admit it or not. We sometimes think our defenses protect us from pain. In reality, they isolate us from the very engagement that will heal or lessen our pain and provide the comfort and protection we really seek and need.
The cost of vulnerability can be quite high. This scares us. But what comes with it is surely worth the risk. Are you opening your life or closing it? Are you choosing to allow others to love you as best they know how while they learn to love better? Are you willing to risk trusting other flawed people to love you by sharing life more intimately? Only those who do so get to experience this delicate, experience of love. Some of us still find it hard to trust God and allow Him in to love us fully. His love is different. It is pure. He can be trusted. But we must remember that God also compels us to invest His love to one another, though it may sometimes come across a bit clumsy and incomplete.
Within the realm of relationships we are able to complement and add to the wholeness of each other’s’ lives. We plug the holes in others that need and lack of ability create. Part of the great adventure we are meant to experience in the family of God is learning to love and be loved in such extravagance and simplicity that the world gasps at its beauty and is drawn to the Source who makes it all possible. You do like adventure, don’t you? Think About It.