If I’ve learned one thing this pregnancy, it’s that I need help. It’s true. I literally need more help. Tasks that used to be molehills have grown into mountains. I can’t lift certain objects anymore due to their weight. My stamina for all yardwork and housework has decreased significantly. My feet are quickly disappearing beneath my belly, so I assure you the day is nearing when I’ll need assistance in lacing up my tennis shoes. As my belly expands week by week with our growing boy, so does my ability to humble myself and ask for assistance. Recently, I knocked on my neighbor’s door because I couldn’t get my lawnmower to start. The pulling and twisting motion was putting an uncomfortable strain on my back. Jim said it was providential that she didn’t come to the door, because I shouldn’t be mowing the lawn at all in my third trimester. I’ve often found myself frustrated from my inability to complete once menial tasks, causing me to slow down and rely on others for assistance. And through my frustration I’ve asked myself: why does this irk me?
Dependency. Does this sound like a dirty word to anyone else, or is that just me? When I initially think about what dependency implies, I think: needy, lacking, weak. It makes me physically uncomfortable to think of needing others in this way. But what if we viewed dependency through a different lens? What if we viewed dependency as: a necessity, an invitation, an opportunity. After all, we weren’t made to do life on our own, living without experiencing relationship with one another. This was evidenced through the trinity: 3-in-1, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, experiencing relationship and community with one another.
I don’t believe weakness is a trait we should try to outrun, either; rather, I think it’s one we ought to embrace. Let me explain. To start, let’s all sing along to this well-known tune. All together now!
“Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.”
Friends, hear me when I say this: we are needy, lacking, and weak. Culturally, these words are viewed with a negative connotation, phrases we do our best to avoid. However, I don’t think these words are ones we should disassociate ourselves with, because in God’s Kingdom, we were created finite. I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog post, but what if we understood that “finitude is a gift, not a deficiency.” In other words, our “limits are a gift, they’re not a sin” (Dr. Kelly Kapic). It’s through our weakness and finitude that Christ is most glorified! 2 Corinthians 12:9 states “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
I’m learning that my reliance on others has created an opportunity for relationship. Community happens when we share in both our strengths and weaknesses, walking alongside one another. It happens through genuine and intentional fellowship, investing in each other’s lives even when it’s inconvenient, especially when it’s inconvenient. In an interview with author Rosaria Butterfield concerning community within the church, Monica Geyen states: “We lay down our plans and time at the foot of the cross not only for the sake of outward ministry in the community, but for the sake of knowing each other well. We have game nights, eat less-preferred foods, and surrender kids’ bedtimes (and ours) for the sake of fellowship, like we do for the sake of studying God’s word and engaging the unbelieving world around us.”
Don’t fear dependency, friends. It’s humbling to admit our need for others, but there’s freedom found through admitting our need for one another, too. I’m learning that, through my weakness, I’m creating an opportunity for others to serve and utilize their God given gifts to create fellowship among myself and each other. Dependency isn’t a deficiency, it’s a doorway to something greater: community.