Have you ever watched a stubborn preschooler attempt to do something they aren’t able to do just yet? They demand “I do it myself!” as they struggle to accomplish the task, whether it is getting themselves dressed or carrying something heavy up the stairs. Their frustration only escalates when they must finally admit they are helpless and need someone to intervene and assist them.
During worship on Sunday, we sang a new song and the lyrics put that picture in my mind. The words were “Arise, Oh Lord, Lift up Your eyes; Don’t forget; I’m helpless!” It is a cry out to the Lord to be our source of strength. It is an admission we simply cannot do what is necessary in life without Him.
In Ghana, there are many Adinkra symbols, which are tribal symbols, found carved into their wood crafts, woven in their fabrics and even made into jewelry. The most famous symbol is the Gye Nyame, which means “Except for God, I am nothing.” The symbol is a representation of John 15:5 “”I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” The Gye Nyame is symbolic of our Christian walk.
The other side of the coin would be Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Christ is the source of our ability. Because of Him, we are able.
Is there something in your life you’re trying to do on your own? How has that worked out for you? I’m guessing it has led to frustration and a lack of success. When we will surrender our plans to the Lord and rest in Him, He will do wonderful things in us and through us [Proverbs 16:3]. We must take whatever we are attempting to do in our own strength and place it in the Father’s hands. Whatever He receives, He will shape and mold to fit His plan. And His plans always succeed [Isaiah 14:27]. The quickest way to have guaranteed success is to live out Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”