This first point is one that flies in the face of everything society today says we should be striving towards. Self-sufficiency is the name of the game in the 21st century. The world tells us if we can't take care of ourselves that we have failed. We raise our children to become self-sufficient. We are a we can do it, we can handle it people. So given the world we live in how do we give up this becoming self-sufficiency is success life style and allow God to be our caretaker? More importantly how do I do this? What does it even mean to "Give God permission to be my caretaker"?
God as my caregiver is a very apt point for me to be thinking about at this time while I deal with a new normal life living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. A chronic disease that has no cure. Though it is highly unlikely the disease itself would be fatal, side effects of it in the long term could. I'm not sure anyone has ever had "Cause of Death" on their death certificate listed as Rheumatoid Arthritis, but I just learned when diagnosed again last month that chances for heart disease are heightened when you have RA. Also in advanced RA the medications used to control it are pretty nasty with some potentially fatal side effects. Having God as my caretaker sounds pretty good under these circumstances. Yet it still is not easy to give up that well learned self control.
How does allowing God to be my caretaker work with the "God helps them who help them self" motto that is so well ingrained in my mind? (Before anyone is tempted to chastise me I do know that phase is not in the bible but came from Poor Richard's Almanac!) I never have been and probably never will be (without a major change in my heart and mind) b een a person who has believed that you can give it all over to God and then sit back and watch him deal with your problems and issues.
I think this was reinforced in college when I had a roommate who was involved with a church that had a lot of college students involved with it and the scheduled a large church wide evangelistic even during the week before final exams. When they asked my roommate to be heavily involved in it and she responded that she had exams to study for their response was that since the program was doing Gods work she needed to be doing it and if she prayed for God to take care of her exams she could work with the church program in God would take care of the rest. Being a new Christian and trusting her church this is what she did (against my "heathen" advice to spend at least some time studying). Unfortunatley I had a new roommate the next semester as her parents refused to let her return to school after failing all of her classes but 1.
So when we allow God to be our caregiver.....what is our responsibility in the deal? Do we have responsibilities in the deal or is thinking that we do just a sign of not having enough trust in God to total give up control of our life to him???? I don't have any answers to these question yet.
The though just occurred to me that I think of God and myself as team mates in my life. I want him to be the captain of the team, but I am an active participant on the team. There are times when due to injury or other life events I might be temporarily benched or red-shirted, but I am still a team member and I will get back into the game at some point. The bible verse Hope gave with this point is from Matthew and I think it speaks to those times we may be red-shirted (temporarily on the bench due to injury).
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
The verse continues on in verses 29-30:
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I and gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
If putting a yoke on is involved there must be some work on our part required. Oxen wear yokes when they are at work. Their work is directed presumably by the one whose yoke they are wearing. There is some work we will be involved in; some burden....If it is God's yoke we have on it is he who is the one leading or directing the work. We are told God's burdens for us are light.
So where am I now? If I allow God, give God permission, to be my caregiver I am not giving up all action in my life. I may be giving up control, but I do have a responsibility to seek out God and what it is that he has for me to do. There will be action required from me. God does have work for me to do......so one of the next questions is what is it that he has for me to do?