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  “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead… He will deliver us, yet again, as you help us by your prayers.”  2 Cor. 1:9-11

 

Heavenly Father, even as the Apostle Paul has been tabbed “the apostle of grace,” so he was also our model of dependence. He was too smart to be tricked by the lies of autonomy and isolation.

Self-reliance is bad religion—a nefarious cult-of-me, with a growing horde of followers. Declaring our independence and self-sufficiency is way more “fun” than owning our limits, needing rescue, and entrusting our weakness to praying friends.

The Gospel freed Paul from any “need” of being omni-competent and impressive. I don’t remember a single verse in Paul’s letters where he said something remotely close to, “You guys go on. I’ve got this one.” Being responsible is one thing; but hoarding our vulnerability and “putting lipstick” on our neediness is quite another.

Father, help us forsake the illusion of our “enough-ness.” Free us to rely on you— “the God who raises the dead.” We aren’t facing the same deadly perils as Paul; but we are walking in stories with unclear endings, situations that test our faith, and relationships which exhaust our resources.

It’s the devil’s plan to keep us isolated, pretending, and eventually, to send us to the lonely island of despair. Thank you for being “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). We need both. So Very Amen.

 

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