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A Crutch and a Cane (Part 1)

Updated: May 8, 2021

Every time I fly, I have to talk to myself. “Get your cane out. Don’t keep it folded up and hidden under your arm. If you keep it zipped up in your carry on, others won’t know you need help.”

I try to hide it. I try my best to compensate for it. Sometimes, even now, I try to avoid situations that are difficult for me. Why? Because I don’t want to ask for help! My nephew said it best when he was a toddler, “I want to do it my byself!” The Interpretation? I don’t want help. I want to do it on my own.

When we are little - we learn to crawl, walk, and eventually run. As we get bigger, it seems, that this drive to be independent grows even stronger. We don’t want to need help. We want to appear capable, competent, and independent. We are taught never to say, “I can’t.”

This has got me thinking. I know some say Christianity is just a crutch for the weak, unintelligent, and scared. And to some, this idea of relying on a God for help, peace, guidance, and some kind of salvation, seems to be a sign of weakness nagging at the strong vein of independence that is so entrenched in our American culture.

But when we begin to see with spiritual eyes, we recognize we all need a cane, a crutch, and maybe even a stretcher. Learning to lean on and depend on God is not easy. Practicing trust in an unseen God takes faith. Relying on the Word of God to be our guide takes work.

We say we want his help but do we? Of course we do! But our impatience, our fretting, our over-analyzing, and rehashing can appear less like dependence and more like the crutch of worry and the cane of anxiety. (Ugh- truth to self)

Sometimes I want to fix things that may not be mine to fix. I want to make things happen instead of waiting. I plow ahead independently with my plans without meeting with God to hear his ideas.

Yes, I’m still learning to trust my white cane to help me get around - it has taken time and practice. It still takes some humility for me to unfold it and admit I need help. And I am still learning to let Jesus be my crutch - to lean on him (not my own strength) when I am weak, afraid, depressed, and anxious. I’m still learning to let Jesus be my cane - to depend on him, (not my own understanding) to lead me when I’m confused, frustrated and just can’t figure the way forward.

Lord, thank you that you are always present and a safe place for us. We admit we need your wisdom and discernment, your direction, and your peace. Will you use these moments and seasons of pain, anxiety, depression, frustration - whatever they are - to become triggers for us, causing us to lean on you, to depend on your faithfulness, and to help us ask you for help? In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalms 86:11 NIV

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