Independence vs. Dependence
I have been on quite a journey over the last several weeks as I had surgery to replace my right knee. I know my recovery and rehabilitation have been much better than many others have experienced, so much so that should I need to have the left knee replaced, the decision to do so will be much easier to make. I am grateful for that, because quite honestly it could have been much more difficult (or so I have heard!).
But while I have been on this journey I have really had to learn to depend on others. Those of you who know me well are aware that I am quite independent, having lived on my own my entire adult life. I am used to (and quite comfortable) doing things for myself. I have seen that change a little in the last few years as I have had to depend on others to do physical jobs that I used to enjoy doing myself. I am sure that many of you will agree that it is somewhat frightening when we realize that we “can’t do it all anymore.”
However, in recent weeks, I have leaned on friends, caregivers, and physical therapists to get me through the recovery period. Sometimes, I was frustrated and wanted to scream, “I don’t need all this help and I can do it on my own.” But, I was wrong. I learned that I couldn’t do it alone…I had to…I needed to…I must depend on others! If I had tried to do everything on my own, I would have messed up things and perhaps ruined my hopes for a complete recovery. I also learned that the caregivers gained real joy in helping me. Who am I to deny them that joy?
I know that the happiest and most joy-filled Christians learn that they not only must depend upon God, but also upon His caregivers; other Christians who can minister to us. Being in a Sunday School class, participating in a small group, and serving on a ministry team brings us joy because we are giving of ourselves to others and learning to depend on them. I challenge you to not be so independent that you find yourself all alone in this world. It is easy to become independent and miss out on some of the best relationships we can know. God really designed us to live in this way. I am grateful to all who provided a meal, sat with me at home, visited me, sent cards, and offered prayers on my behalf!