Learning the Value of Neediness, Part 3
This is the third and final portion of the chapter, “Unlearning Independence; Learning the Value of Neediness.” Parts one and two can be found HERE and HERE.
The Intimacy We’ve Always Wanted
The first time I got Covid-19, the worst symptom for me was severe joint pain. Losing my sense of smell was bizarre more than uncomfortable. After Covid passed, the joint pain went with it and I was able to resume running. The second time I got Covid, the joint pain in my knees stayed even after the disease had left. After decades of cherished distance running, it was difficult to go more than three miles without setting myself up for pain throughout the rest of the day.
For stress, weight management, mental refreshment and often spiritual insight, running has been a mainstay in my life. The thought of losing it (which remains an active possibility as I write this) is terrible to contemplate but now I’ve learned that my need to maintain a sweet, surrendered spirit before God is more important than my need to run. If not being able to run makes me bitter at God or less than grateful for the spiritual riches I enjoy, the blessing of my past running will become a curse. I need the presence and favor of God more than I need to run.
The promise of Revelation 3:20 is that if the church will repent, Jesus will come in and dine with them. Notice the reward isn’t tied to what they’re eating, it’s tied to who they’re eating with. There is no promise of filet mignon, Maine lobsters, or an organic Mediterranean kale salad. There is only one promise: their dining companion will be Jesus. Jesus offers them relationship.
And that’s what we need more than anything. We are dependent on this relationship. Our spiritual welfare is directly tied to this relationship. Without this relationship, everything will collapse. We will never not need this relationship. Whether we are rich, surrounded by friends, in good health and happy while we are eating doesn’t even register as much as the fact that Jesus is at the table with us. That’s the only promise and the sufficient promise.
How many times do we focus on what we’re “eating”—our job, our clothes, our social life—rather than who we’re eating with? The fantastic news is that you can begin living the abundant life today wearing the same clothes, driving the same car, working the same job and sleeping in the same house with the same spouse as long as you invite Jesus to be your true and faithful companion. Jesus and nothing else marks true abundance.
Learning how important it is to remain needy is to remind ourselves of how rich we are.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Simply Sacred with Gary Thomas to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.