October 6, 2010

A Note On Self-Sufficiency

When you hear "Self-Sufficiency" it may cause you to think of gardening, supplying your own food source, being completely independent of any structured system, in control of your life, not needing others? Wow, as I write that list, I am becoming somewhat depressed. Imagine, if you will, becoming so self-sufficient you actually ceased to need relationships with others. That is not really the self-sufficiency I had originally thought of when starting this post, but if you spiraled far enough down into the realm of self-sufficiency, I suppose you may arrive there!

No, my thoughts on self sufficiency began after reading a section in Spiritual Mothering (Susan Hunt), where she talks about comfort in suffering. Receiving others' comfort, extending comfort to others, relying on God's comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

There are a lot of "all"s in that passage of Scripture. That's because God leaves nothing out. He is the God of all comfort in all of our troubles. I don't know about you, but I have yet to find an earthly relationship or object that can do all of that for me the way God has promised He can.

Without suffering we cannot experience God's comfort. Have you ever pondered that one before? I often ask myself, why is this situation so difficult? Can't this pain just go away? This is really uncomfortable, I feel like I'm losing control! That's exactly it. Without reaching this point, we cannot experience God's comfort and then serve Him and glorify Him in it. This makes no sense whatsoever to the person whose life-purpose is not servanthood and giving God glory, but rather self-centered, self-sufficient focused. However, to the one who longs to imitate the Father, the One who suffered in our place, it makes perfect sense.

When my situation is beyond my self sufficiency, only then will I learn experientially the sufficiency of Christ in my life. And when I can learn that, I have a message of comfort that is real. Rather than telling others, "I did it; you can too!" I can offer a true promise, We were under great pressure, for beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us... (2Cor. 1:8-10)

1 comment:

Our Father's Heartbeat said...

Hi Karina,
Amen to this post. God is been teaching me a ton about self sufficiency too. I agree with what you wrote about losing control ... It feels so strange and counter intuitive, but so necessary to understand His comfort and mercy.

Just found your blog today, but I will be following. I'm new to the world of blogging and homeschooling and I'm feeling very blessed tonight as I have the chance to 'meet' you!