TV shows end for a lot of reasons. Ratings go down, budgets shrink, key actors leave, and the plot gets old.
My show just got cancelled for the same reasons. It no longer has five stars. The producer is going broke. The storyline is stale. And the lead? She wants to move on to bigger and better things. She’s so over her own performance, in fact, that she booed herself off stage the other day.
What this TV show metaphor boils down to is self-sufficiency – and maybe a little pride. I’ve often wondered why God hasn’t provided for me the way He has for other people (although He’s certainly blessed me a LOT). Simultaneously, however, I’ve reminded Him and others that my success and stability originate with me. Maybe God gives me opportunities, but *I* put in the effort. *I* do the work, not God.
I’m done with reminding Him that, though – because I’m just so done with self-sufficiency. The reality, for better or worse, is that I need God. It’s not that I don’t want to work hard anymore – but I can’t sustain my work ethic without the Lord, and I need Him for a healthy balance of hard work, celebration, and rest. I’ve learned the latter activities are just as important as the former . . . because celebrations and rest are holy. They are part of God’s design for a wholesome life and for wholeness in our relationships with Him and others.
Though I belong to the Lord, I have committed two evils: I have forsaken Him, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for myself – broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).
I will take my sin to the Lord, the only One who can blot it out; and my public confession this morning is that I need God. Need Him – not as a mere crutch, but as my source of life. I need to operate in His design for life . . . and I need His discipline, provision, and sustenance in order to do that. The how-to manual isn’t enough; I need the Teacher.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 14:6 (ESV)
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. [ . . . ] But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
– John 14:16-18, 26-27 (ESV)
You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
– Isaiah 12:1-6 (ESV)