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Not in our strength

I've noticed that some kids seem to be fearless and even reckless at times. Believing they are invincible; they often take on challenges that are way too big for them to handle on their own. As we get older, we may outgrow some of that reckless abandon, but many of us still have that internal voice saying "I've got this" when faced with difficult situations, even when we know deep down that we can't or shouldn't handle it alone.

This tendency towards rugged individualism has been ingrained in many of us, especially here in America. We feel like we need to be self-reliant and take care of problems ourselves, without asking for help or guidance. I'm certainly guilty of this at times. When I look back on situations where I tried to take on too much by myself, I have painful memories of biting off more than I could chew and suffering through the consequences.

There must be a better way than trying to go it alone all the time. We all need help and support on our journeys. One source of help we can rely on is God. But do we invite God into our daily lives and truly rely on Him? Or do we only call out "Jesus take the wheel!" in moments of desperation, which probably isn't the healthiest approach.

God cares deeply about every aspect of our lives - the big challenges and the small everyday struggles. We need to remember that we don't have to tackle any of it alone. God is always there, ready to guide us, lift us up, and help shoulder our burdens. But we have to let Him in first. We have to acknowledge our limitations and humbly ask for His divine assistance.

Here are some practical ways we can rely on God more in our daily lives:

  • Start each day with prayer. Invite God to walk with you and guide you. Ask Him to help you handle any challenges you may face.

  • When struggling with a decision, stop and ask yourself what God would want you to do. Try to align your choices with His will.

  • Read scripture and inspirational writings to strengthen your connection with God. Christian authors like C.S. Lewis provide wisdom.

  • Attend church services and participate in faith-based community groups for support.

  • Trust in God's timing; know that His plan will unfold even when you can't yet see the path ahead.

  • Thank God in prayer at the end of each day for being by your side. Review lessons learned with His help.

The more we make it a daily habit to include God in our lives, instead of only calling on Him when we've lost control, the more peace and purpose we can find. Though the road may sometimes be difficult, we do not walk it alone. God is always there to guide and uplift us if we just lean on Him. As we navigate life's challenges, it is so important that we do not try to go it completely alone. Yes, we can and should rely on God, who is always ready to guide, lift up, and help shoulder our burdens if we humbly ask for His divine assistance. But we must also realize the value of living in community and belonging to support networks here on earth.

God designed us to connect with one another - to give and receive care, counsel, and comfort. We should surround ourselves with wise, supportive people we can turn to in times of struggle. This may include family, friends, pastors, mentors, accountability partners, small groups, counseling professionals, and recovery communities. Leaning on others is not a sign of weakness but rather a demonstration of wisdom. We instinctively try to help a friend who is carrying something heavy; we'd never tell them to handle it alone. So why do we often expect ourselves to carry every single load by ourselves?

Seeking help, sharing burdens, and offering support to others has benefits for everyone: our load is lighter, our network stronger. Yes, the tendency towards rugged individualism runs deep. But by humbly acknowledging our limitations and interdependence, we open ourselves up to the blessings of community. We all need help sometimes. And when we build relationships rooted in openness, empathy and care for one another, we create spaces where it is safe to ask for support without shame or judgment.

As we navigate this winding road of life, let us remember that God walks with us in full and faithful presence. But He also surrounds us with fellow travelers - imperfect but dearly loved - to lock arms with along the way. We must hold fast to Him while also holding on to each other.

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