“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
“My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;” Psalm 62:5-8
“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10
Remember the children’s book called “The Little Engine that Could” about from what I recall the engine that could do what it needed to do once it believed that it could? Mr. Simeon, one of the paralyzed dogs in my care, believes he can do everything he needs to do. He believes he can eat, drink, get into his wheelchair to take his walks which he loves, go to the bathroom, cozy up under a warm blanket, get care from the doggy doctor, take his medicine, get love and attention, take a bath, get into the car when we go somewhere, get out of the car, etc. He has no doubt he can do all of this. But it’s not because he can. In fact, he can’t do any of this on his own, not even go to the bathroom. He has no mobility outside of a few inches of movement because of his spinal cord injury caused by a hit and run driver that mowed him down in his or her car and left him in the road for dead.
Why then does he believe he can do all of this? Because his TOTAL DEPENDENCE is on me, and because THROUGH ME he knows he can do it all. He completely trusts me to do everything for him, and he looks to me solely to do what needs to be done. His faith is TOTALLY in me. Not for some things and not for others. For all things. He is submitted entirely to me to love and care for him. He is surrendered utterly to me. Not with this and that but not the other stuff. With everything. He places ALL HIS EXPECTATION not in himself, not in others, but in me. And he makes it abundantly clear he is fully satisfied, content, and thankful.
One of my greatest challenges through the years as a Christ follower, and I believe I am not alone in this, is I tend to place my trust, expectation, hope, and dependence in the Lord for some things but not for others. With others, I find myself trusting in myself or in others but not in the Lord. I do not have the full satisfaction, contentment, and thanksgiving that goes along with the faith the Lord desires from us. Total faith. Total trust. Total submission. Total surrender. Total dependence. Total expectation in Him alone to lead and provide as He desires, when He desires, through whom He desires or directly from Himself, for His glory.
It pleases God greatly when His children put their entire trust in Him, their whole faith, their full hope, their complete expectation in Jesus Christ as Lord of all. Having a forever relationship with God through repenting and believing in and following Christ as Lord is a journey, and none of us does it perfectly. But for those truly committed to living with Christ forever, and to living for Christ for eternity, we learn, we practice, we stumble, we fall, we repent, we get up, we grow, we struggle, we keep walking, we look to Him for His love, we look to Him for His strength, we are chastened and corrected by God’s Spirit, we keep walking, we keep walking, and step by step we learn how not to give the Lord parts of ourselves and not other parts, not to surrender to Him some of ourselves and not the rest, not to depend on Him for some stuff and on ourselves and others for the remainder, but we learn step by step, and breath by breath, to depend on the Lord utterly.
Mr. Simeon looks to me with eyes of adoration. People have often remarked when I leave him standing in his wheelchair beside them and walk off for a few minutes that he turns his head and his eyes are glued to me. I have seen him do this. He looks like he would do anything in the world to come running after me. For I am the source of what he needs and desires. He knows he needs me. He desires to have me ever by his side. He is so thankful.
May we look to the Lord with all our expectation, may we depend on Him wholly, may we set our hope upon Him, may we look to Him with a heart and eyes of adoration, may we hunger and thirst for and yearn for and crave Him, may we cleave and cling to Him, may we hang on and hold onto Him, may we want to be in ever close communion with Him, may we realize we are nothing without Him, not anything at all, and that we need Him more than anything or anyone. And may we rejoice that when we believe in Christ as Lord and give our lives utterly to Him, devoting ourselves to Him day by day, striving to live according to the Lord’s ways and not the world’s, that we are His everlastingly. Oh, may we rejoice in Him! Lord of Lords, King of Kings, forever He shall reign!