Ashlie Miller: Dependence Day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2024

By Ashlie Miller

Children rarely realize the freedom and beauty of being a child until it’s too late. They are grown, adulting and burdened with decisions and bills before they remember the joy of childhood. Do you ever relish memories of not having to decide multiple times a day what you will eat, how much sleep you should get (taking naps!), having events and experiences planned out for you and not having to pack for them yourself? Oh, the bliss of those evenings we would arrive home late, and after having fallen asleep in the car, Mom would carry me into the house, place me on the bed, change my clothes for me and tuck me in. She knew just what I needed. I rested in the care of her love, utterly dependent on her attending to my needs.

This week, I reflect on my dependence upon God.

“Christianity is a crutch.” I have heard that one before; maybe you have, too. Perhaps you have even said it, boasting that you are strong enough to live without Christianity. You’ve made it this far after all, haven’t you? Then, why does anyone need Jesus?

One summer long ago, I realized how dependent I truly was and how I needed Jesus. Perhaps one could call that my “Dependence Day” — my day of salvation from myself and my sins. Resting in the arms of the One who created, saved and sustains me enables me to trust God fully as He directs my path, making even the most crooked journey lead straight to His plan for my good and His glory (Proverbs 3:5-6). I can attest to times when my path did not look perfectly straight and neatly laid out before me, but He placed me where I needed to be in the season.

Imperfect as I am, I make mistakes, and sometimes, my journey meets trials and obstacles. But I rest assured that when my footing slips, God’s unfailing love supports me (Psalm 94:18). Wow! My Creator did not just stop with creating me and leaving me to figure it all out. He supports me lovingly. When cares of life threaten to drown me in despair, I can cast (or violently throw) them on the Lord because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). When I meet an onslaught of opposition, feel weak, and can’t see in the apparent darkness engulfing me, I sense my Father strengthening my heart (Psalm 73:26), fighting while I stand still (Exodus 14:14), turning darkness into light (Psalm 18:28), delivering me (Psalm 3:7) and providing a safe refuge (Psalm 16:1 — for one of many examples). God is also a comfort in grief, a friend in my loneliness, a good Father when I feel orphaned, a good Shepherd, a teacher, forgiving, compassionate, just and righteous.

Having to define myself by the current culture’s values does not sustain nor fulfill me, for that is ever-changing. I am weak, and I am utterly dependent. But I rest securely dependent on Jesus.

Have you had a “Dependence Day”? If not, how is independence going for you? It sounds like a lot of hard work. If you do have a declared day of dependence, share your journey with someone soon. Help them see the freedom in dependence!

Ashlie Miller and her husband, Chad, utterly depend on God as they raise their five children in Concord.

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