Where Do You Go, When You Reach the End of Yourself?

In today’s Take Five, Tanya explains how, as a culture, we’ve largely valued self-sufficiency and detachment, looking down on those who express their emotional needs. With God, we’re invited to fully recognize our needs, and drink from the Living Water: an invitation for all to be fully satisfied in Him.

In our present age, we’ve turned the metaphor of thirst into an insult. What an offense it is to have emotional needs, and to make the unforgivable social sin of unwittingly letting them leak out. We have valued detachment, seeming self-sufficiency, having it all together.

I was struck by one commentator who noted that we don’t mind the metaphor of hunger. It speaks to our desires for power, ambition, control, but thirst, thirst is born out of need, dependence, lack of sufficiency.

To recognize our need is to recognize our reality.

Make it Personal

  • Who among the crowd are you? The oblivious, the confused, the outraged, the challenged? The thirsty? Have you come to Jesus to quench your thirst?

  • How might we, as Christians, show that in our greatest vulnerabilities and needs, that is where God alone can satisfy and fulfill us?

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So timely! Thank you @jspare for posting this great Take Five! I have thought about who I am in the crowd… And Tanya is right

2,000 years later I’m struck by the similarities of the characters on the stage.
Of course now as then there are some who are oblivious to His providence,
oblivious to the drama. They have not even realized the questions to be answered.

I think one of the ways I’ve been convicted of showing vulnerabilities and needs is risking the opportunities to hold Him out in a hurting and often hostile world. To admit that my human condition is helpless apart from Him, and that truly believing and knowing this should lead me to go to great lengths to help others meet Him.

As Tanya puts it:

The response to this one Person is the defining reality of their lives.

Amen!

What lengths will I go to? I’m still learning this about myself.

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The problem starts with many American churches that are thirsty because they have only drank half the cup of Jesus as Savior but have not drank
one drop of Jesus as Lord.The congregations
having been fed half the truth do not hunger for Jesus as Lord they think that they are full
but they need to be fed Jesus as Lord. They are starving spiritually but do not realize they are dead.
It is not their fault it is our problem once that begins to take place people’s feelings can be addressed.
If anyone has suggestions on addressing this
issue thank you.

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1: probably closest to the confused, the challenged, and the continously thirsty.
2. I have come to question whether or not “pure coincidences” occur. Two hours before I logged in to Connect, I composed for myself and my daughter a reality check on my vulnerability and its relationship of vulnerability to dependence. I hope it’s not too long to quote here. This is what I wrote:

" In many societies self-sufficiency is highly regarded. Any sign of dependency is regarded as a weakness and must be avoided. Rugged self-sufficiency is equated with invulnerability, in the sense of being able to cope with all types of adversity, and still to bounce back. Those who are able to recover from serious setbacks, and especially those who are able to use these setbacks to their advantage, are particularly admired.

My own reality check reveals the following:

  • biologically I am 100% dependent on other creatures, for basically everything: my genetic code is derived from others, and is not of my own choosing, until now I have also been unable to change it deliberately; food, the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, protection from a wide number of diseases, etc. are dependent on creatures I can’t even see. My current level of health and well-being, is to some extent of my own making, but that I am alive at all, is entirely due to others’ care, or the protection of a higher power. My current standard of living is likewise the result of a complex economic, technological, political and social system. I could not maintain or sustain it on my own.
  • socially and culturally my place of birth, choice of parents, language and cultural settings, value systems, were all “gifted” to me by others, and neither these things, nor the people who provided them, were of my choice. Later in life, I have had some choice is modifying them, but even these choices have been circumscribed by various types of boundaries.
  • Education and learning options were totally determined by others during the so-called formative years. Thereafter, there have been other circumstantial conditions that very severely constrained the options available to me. Virtually everything I have ever learned, I learned directly or indirectly from others. I seriously doubt that I have ever had an entirely original thought that no one else has ever had.
  • In terms of career choice and experience, all of the significant decisions made, were either initiated or enabled by others. Of course I was involved, and made choices, and to that extent I am responsible for my career choices – my point however, is that I cannot think of an individual case in which I acted entirely alone, or could have followed my career path without the direction (sought or given freely), influence, or support of others. In this sense none of my major life choices were made independent of others.
  • Emotionally, which is where I am closest to myself, I am very aware of my dependence on others. Virtually all of the strongest emotions I have experienced have been related to other people – I doubt I could experience them at all, if I were fully self-sufficient. We value love, partly because through both receiving and giving love our sense of worth is affirmed. Compassion, empathy, sympathy, gratitude, gentleness, kindness, all require an “other.” So do all the negative emotions – covetousness, envy, jealousy, anger, resentment, bitterness and so on. Our worst fears generally have to do with relational issues, and perhaps the greatest one is loneliness – the fear of abandonment, of being unwanted, discarded, ignored, forgotten, valueless.

Three things jump out at me very strongly from this reality check on my dependency and therefore vulnerability:

  • while I can fully acknowledge my life-long dependency on others, my vulnerability is directly related to the dependability of those others. And the reverse must also be true – the vulnerability of those who to what ever extent are or have been dependent on me, actually rests on my dependability. And I am pretty sure I am not completely dependable … for many reasons.
  • What I really need, what I really want and long for, is a personal relationship with someone who is totally dependable, in each and every imaginable circumstance.
  • It is difficult to believe that this type of relationship doesn’t come without a cost. I know very well that when I am least dependable, it is in large part because of the cost (to me) that is involved. It may be a financial or economic cost, that I cannot or do not want to afford. It could be cost in terms of time and/or effort; cost in terms of reputation; cost in terms of having to give up other plans or programs. Many of these types of cost, are not just in terms of their degree, but also in terms of the conflicting desires, wishes or other responsibilities they incur. Whatever the nature of the cost, there is a very considerable cost to the one on whom others depend."

I can think of only one person, one being, who has demonstrated that He is able and willing to take on this cost of dependability. Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Only He has the willingness and the resources needed. So far, He has NEVER let me down. And the best is yet to come! :wink: :smiley: