“I can do it myself.” How many times does a mother of toddlers, children and teens hear that statement? How many times have we as adults told that to God? The real truth is we just can’t, not without Him.
When a 3-year-old Sally wants to tie her OWN shoes, there’s no way Mom can effectively help her. She might as well sit back and wait.
One of two things will happen, Sally will miraculously get the shoes tied, or she will have a fit because she can’t do it, cry herself out and then ask Mom to do it for her.
Mom, who has been patiently waiting all this time making lunch or doing whatever, will gladly stop and show Sally step by step how to tie her shoes.
Did Mom have the power to tie Sally’s shoes all the time? Of course she did.
However, a wise Mom knows tying Sally’s shoes when she’s convinced she can do it herself would be akin to wrangling snakes. And if Mom did manage to hogtie Sally and get the shoes tied, Sally would probably untie them and try to tie them again herself.
The only correct course in this situation is to wait for the toddler’s surrender, so Mom can utilize her strength to either do it or teach Sally how to do it. Will she learn it the first time? No, Mom will have to help her, remind her of the steps.
The next time Sally will remember more and more, until eventually she’s doing it pretty much by rote memory.
I so relate to this illustration. I am Sally in most everything. And God is my patient Mom teaching me what to do in each situation until one day I can do it knowing He’s still there if I get in a bind.
Trying it my way
Being a super morbidly obese woman for at least 20 years of my life, I tried everything to fix my problem.
God told me the way I could begin to be healthy, but I wanted to tie my own shoes. I thought surely there is a better way, an easier way. Surely, that was just a suggestion. I can do it myself my own way.
I would go on a different diet, fail, regain the weight, and cry out to Him for help again. He would give me the same answer.
He had already shown me the plan. It never changed from the first time He told me. He was just waiting for me to get over my Sally fit and realize I really needed help.
I would get frustrated at my ineptness and so, of course, I would eat all the things I knew I should lay down if I really wanted to lose weight.
The problem was I had not really surrendered my weakness for sugar and breads to Him. Sure, I could give them up for short times, but I couldn’t fathom giving them up for the rest of my life.