Dependency--Crucible of Faith
One of the greatest gifts living in India has given me is to learn a way of life of dependency.
We all should be living and depending on the Lord no matter our circumstances, location, way of life, or condition. But there are some times when life provides us a crucible for learning to live and walk by faith in a more intense way. I believe everyone has a crucible or two or three or more throughout their lives--some might be sickness, strained relationships, difficult job situations, hope deferred, smashed dreams, injustice, prodigal children, just to name a few--I'm sure you may have a personal one come to mind. Sometimes we enter into these crucibles for brief seasons, and sometimes they are longer. I am sure that a few certain years of my life in India have been one of my "crucibles of faith," and I am thankful!
Moving to such a different culture stripped me of many comforts and securities that left me relying and trusting and calling on the name of the Lord, the Lord who is in control all over the world, in a different way, a more desperate way, than any other time in my life thus far.
We have lived in India for almost 10 years. Some of our first years, we were naive and did not even realize all of the fears we "should" have, all of the "what ifs," and we had not yet heard all the stories we would hear over the years, read in the newspapers, or experience ourselves or with others close to us.
Some of our "middle years" spent in India we still lived in a larger city, but it was not as advanced or Western as some of the largest cities in India. During those years, we learned to depend on the Lord and walk by faith differently than if we had lived without this experience.
Unsure of the quality of medical care, we were much quicker to pray and beg the Lord for healing and slower to go out to the doctor. Exodus 15:26, "For I am the Lord, your healer."
Knowing there is corruption, bribery, and unreliability in the justice system and police forces, you don't feel as secure or have the security of some kind of "911 service," we believed, trusted, and prayed that we were surrounded by chariots and the protection of the Lord. Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
Not fluently speaking the language, yet wanting to share a message of hope and truth to someone that doesn't know any English, you ask the Lord to speak through you and take your little and make it much, you try your best to share what you can and trust the Lord to work. Isaiah 55:11, "so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
Spending many nights alone, while my husband was away for work, it some how seemed that's when fevers are higher, nightmares occur more, and the anxiety and fear is strong. I called on the name of the Lord, played the loudest praise and worship music, and asked the Lord to be "my very present help in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1
Traveling to some places that I was nervous or a little scared to go into, I knew the message I was taking is so important and worthy, so I asked the Lord to be a shield about me and to give me the grace I needed to travel or endure the hard experiences as a byproduct of that travel or place. Psalm 3:3, "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head."
There have certainly been times when I just wished I could get out of the crucible of faith and dependency and live in an easier place that felt a little more secure and safe. But, in these times, I am so thankful that I could rely on truth and speak the truth of God's Word to my mind instead of having a false sense of security.
"In God we live, move, and have our being." Acts 17:28
In God, alone, we are most secure and safe. "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
God is sovereign and in control of everything in the universe. 1 Timothy 6:15, "He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and Lord of lords."
I recognize that being in a position of dependency is not always easy, and sometimes I try to get any kind of control I can. Sometimes I try to run after safety and security that is not ultimate or is actually a false security or false safety. I am thankful to have spent a few years in such a crucible that I believe I will never be the same having gone through it. My greatest prayer is that even in times when I don't feel the urgency and necessity to depend on the Lord, that I will always depend on Him and not rely on myself, my strength or abilities, or any security and safety more than I rely on Him.
Before I moved overseas in 2005, Bobby Rankin quoted and spoke over our group in training Psalm 91, and since that time, this passage is one I cling to when my heart is fearful or struggling to trust and find my dependency on God:
1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”