I’m a needy kid
Clingy. Dependent. Weak.
Neediness generally is considered to be a bad thing. As human beings, we are raised to take care of ourselves and provide for others, whether we are male or female, to stand on our own two feet and rock this thing we call life. Our ability to provide makes us a desirable mate or parent. It makes us a coveted employee. It makes us be viewed by our peers as a strong leader.
But sometimes this independence and do-it-ourselves-itis is dangerous—for it also makes us mistakenly get the idea that we don’t need anyone but ourselves. We don’t need anything. We’ve got this. It’s on us.
Where is there room for God in this equation?
In some small kernel of our heart and mind we might even get the notion we don’t need God. We become in a sense our own god.
This year I’ve been reading Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” every morning as my devotional, and there’s a passage Nov. 29 where she notes that needing God is equated to knowing Him intimately. I can’t seem to get that out of my mind.
So let’s dive into that: What is need? It is a requirement, something we can’t live without. We need food and water to survive. If we have a life-threatening medical condition, we need a prescription.
We also need God. Without Jesus, we can’t get into heaven. We are lost on an aimless and evil path that leads nowhere. Even the most self-sufficient of us can’t deny that, even in today’s independence-focused world.
But need as intimacy? Well… yes.
Think about it. If you have ever been truly, deeply in love, you know what I mean about getting to the point in your relationship where you become completely vulnerable. Your walls fall down and your barriers break. You let that person into the cracks and crevices that are the real you. Your soul meets their soul in a genuine and authentic way. There are no masks or games. It is a state of intimacy where you now truly know each other, and your love begins to grow and thrive and bloom. If you water it enough and give enough attention and sunlight, like any good plant it will continue to grow, put down roots and (hopefully) carry on a legacy that lasts not only your own lifetime but, through your children and grandchildren perhaps, many generations to come.
That is also exactly how it is supposed to be in a real, intimate relationship with God. When we let ourselves become vulnerable—dare I say needy?—our real selves get to know God. It is a deeper understanding and knowledge than a superficial, fair-weather relationship. It’s a physical, emotional, and spiritual craving, and we ultimately come to feel we cannot get through without him. Intellectually we know we can’t get by without him, but there’s a difference between knowing this in our head and knowing this in our heart. We need God. And in that need becomes vulnerability and, ultimately, intimacy.
With humans, that could be called codependency. With God, that’s called perfect love.
There is always a risk when it comes to intimate love. When you humble yourself before humans, the power dynamic changes. Unhealthy attachmets could form. But with God, there’s no worry at all. We can just trust. When we humble ourselves before God, we can rest surely in the faith that He will be there for us. He’s the only one who can do anything about our problems, our condition, our experiences, our world. The same God who is Lord over the sunrise and the sunset, who planted every tree and crafted every droplet of water, is the God we can kneel before in open and honest vulnerable, aching, dependent need and rest squarely in the knowledge that He’ll take the wheel.
“My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus,” it says in Philippians 4:19 (Common English Bible). “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid,” it says in John 14:27. “Lord of heavenly forces, those who trust in you are truly happy!” it says in Psalm 84:11-12.
I am a child of God, and I need him. I guess that makes me a needy kid.
It also puts me in real relationship with him.
And that is a very, very, very good thing.