I've been thinking a lot about Freedom lately, and its lovely relation, Independence. The two little girls gaining continence, for instance, and the great freeing gift of language, and many freedoms resulting from self control. I gain so much by their increased independence. I don't have to lug them around, plus all their stuff. My arms are free and clear. With each new skill, each gained ability everyone's life becomes more interesting and, for the most part, easier.
And Yet, as I push them forward into independence and its reward, freedom, the other side of the lesson is constant, unceasing, real Dependence--utter and total dependence--on God. You can do it! You did it! We say in one moment. Only God can. We say the next. Pray and ask God to do it because you can't really. He will do it in you and for you.
It feels to me, on this fine summer day, that America collectively, and the American Church even more so, have got stuck on the We Can Do It, and are not so interested in the Only God Can bit. There are so many solutions and ideas and ready hands to make things better, but because we're the ones doing it, it's getting more and more messy and less and less free. At this point, as at every other, only God can do it, and he will do it, after we have ruined it so badly we will finally be forced to stop saying We Can Do It and begin to ask for mercy and help. What a great and freeing day that will be!