When Being Dependent Is Really Good!
I crave independence and being self-sufficient – not needing anyone or anything. Then when a lightning storm hit a few ago, I discovered just how dependent I was on something I ordinarily take for granted!
I happen to live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the city has worked hard to establish itself as a hub for innovation. That kind of forward thinking is what brought ultra-high-speed Internet to these parts. We are fortunate to have access to one of the fastest fiber-optic networks in the country, and that’s a positive perk when you work virtually! However, when a powerful storm ripped through the area and lightning hit our house, the speed of our internet didn’t matter.
Thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence in the south; most of the time they are happy reminder of God’s immense power and exciting to watch. However, one Tuesday it was a very different story! At six in the evening on a summer night the sky was dark and purple. It felt more like midnight. Rain poured, hail fell, thunder rumbled, and the lightning bolts cracked in the sky. It all seemed typical until that strike – the strike that nearly stopped my heart!
Once the electricity came back on and my heart stopped racing, I discovered that the Internet, land line for our business, and the TV cable had all been zapped. That realization led to a phone call to my fabulous fiber optic provider and much waiting. Apparently, I was not alone!
When you work virtually, the Internet and phone are pretty important. As I went about work the following day, I gained a much keener awareness of just how dependent I was on the internet. Even our printers are connected to our network!
Finally, around 3:30 the next day, my Internet, phone line, and cable were repaired. That’s when I discovered that the lightning strike had killed my phone and router. Temporarily, until the new router arrived, I had an old-fashioned cable connecting me to the Internet. The cable was slightly shorter than it needed to be, so it created an inconvenient hurdle right in the middle of my office, but hey, I was connected!
Prior to this adventure, I confess I had taken the Internet for granted. I rarely thought about all it enabled me to do – researching, communicating, shopping, engaging in social media, connecting with clients, printing, and more! I was…dependent!
The loss of internet got me thinking about the idea of dependence. Merriam-Webster defines it as:
“The state of needing something or someone else for support, help, etc.”
When it comes to needing something or someone, the One I need the most is God. Being dependent on Him – fully relying on Him – I need more of that in my life! With that in mind, here are 6 lessons my Internet incident taught me about my dependence on God:
1. He’s Always Dependable
Deuteronomy 32:4 says: “The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way He works is fair and just; A God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God.”
While my Internet is super speedy and generally reliable, it wasn’t able to stand up to lightning. On the other hand, God is always dependable – without exception. It might not look like I think it should or want it to, but He’s always dependable – The Rock!
2. I Take Him for Granted
I rarely think about the Internet – I wake up in the morning and use it all day long without giving it much thought. If I’m not careful, my relationship with God has the potential to be just as mindless.
I doubt that dwelling on my need for the Internet would improve my life, but, I’m certain that being more mindful of God, His presence, and how He’s working in my life would make a noticeable difference.
3. My Abilities are Limited
When my speedy Internet is out of commission, I’m extremely limited in what I’m able to do. Those moments highlight just how dependent on the internet I really am. Even a trip to Starbucks to work won’t help unless I’m able to connect to their internet.
My natural tendency is to rely on myself and yet my abilities are limited, while He is All-Powerful why wouldn’t I want to tap into Him?
4. He’s Always Working
The Internet, under normal circumstances, dutifully does its thing. I can’t see it working, but I certainly enjoy the results. But it’s definitely not always working! In fact, another storm a few years later had us in an internet free zone for an entire week!
God is far more faithful than my internet. Lightning is nothing to Him! He’s never our of commission. He’s always working on my behalf. He never stops! It’s just one of many ways He demonstrates His great love for me that I often overlook.
5. I Don’t Fully Understand Him
To be honest, even though I use the Internet every day, I have absolutely no idea how it all works. I just know it does! And before you send me an e-mail explaining it all, I’m not sure I want or need to know!
My relationship with God is similar. There are myriads of unanswered questions, things I don’t understand about His ways and what He’s up to. While I want to get to know Him at a deeper level, I realize I won’t ever fully understand Him and that’s okay. I know that He’s worthy of my trust and is pleased when I am relying on Him. After all, if I fully understood a god, how amazing would that god be when I can’t even grasp how the Internet works?
Isaiah shared my sentiment when he wrote these words about God: “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think”. Isaiah 55:9 (MSG)
6. I’m Happier When I Trust Him
Kids want what they want and when they don’t get it, they frequently fall on the floor and pitch a fit. They think they know what will make them happy. As parents, we have a much bigger picture in mind and if kids would just trust us and cooperate, they would be much happier, right?
Sadly, we often behave the same way as adults minus the falling on the floor and screaming. We think we know what will make us happy, and yet God not only wants what is best for us, but He knows what will truly satisfy us. Do I trust Him enough to surrender, obey, and trust His ways? When I do, that’s when I’m truly depending on Him. And funny thing, He knows me better than I know myself! When I’m fully depending on Him, I’m the happiest!
Lord Almighty, how happy are those you trust you! Psalm 84:12 (GNT)
Happy are those who have the God of Jacob to help them and who depend on the Lord their God, the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them. He always keeps His promises; Psalm 146 5-6 (GNT)
My internet connection is vital to my work. It’s difficult for me to get much done without it. Even more important to my work: my dependence on and my connection to God. Without my internet connection, there is so much I’m unable to do. And attempting to do life and work without God is just as pointless.
God has some amazing opportunities personally and professionally for you and me! He wants to be a part of the process; for us to fully depend on Him. That’s a very good thing!
When it comes to your life and work, how dependent on Him are you?