Total reliance

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Written By Natalie Waterson

I love the family holiday trips we take each year. Every year my husband and I make the long trip from Pretoria to Port Elizabeth. Eleven hours with reasonable traffic. We do this because both our families live there and, because our parents are getting up there in age. As a result, their coming to visit us is becoming less and less likely.

So, a few weeks before we leave, I re-print my lists, make the necessary adjustments, and start preparing for the trip. Yes, you guessed it – I’m a list person. I have a list for groceries, a list of upcoming events, clothing lists, entertainment ideas lists, a list of items for the first aid kit, and so it goes on and on and on.

When the kids were younger, I would also have a list for their clothing bags as well as toys and games to keep them occupied. In fact, considering we left in the month of December, I would buy a very small, inexpensive toy, book, or puzzle every month with my groceries throughout the year and gift wrap them. For the trip, the kids would have brand new gifts to open and play with every couple of hours - fun for them and a peaceful trip for us.

Now that the children are too old for traditional toys, they bring their own entertainment (mostly electronic stuff). They pack their own luggage also (which I must say, from time to time, has been quite entertaining and just a little embarrassing as well).
But to have a lovely holiday, we all still fulfil our own particular roles with practice and perfect precision. My husband ensures that the car and trailer are in tip-top condition and packs the luggage in the night before we leave. I make sure we have adequate road snacks, enough clothing for the trip, our animals are cared for while we are away. Responsibilities are delegated to the house-sitter, the first-aid kit is packed, emergency numbers are readily available, and so much more. It may seem like a lot, and in reality, it is, but it’s the only way I know of actually to enjoy myself while we are away.
And then I read Matthew 10. Jesus sends out His twelve, saying,

‘”Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.”’ (vs 9-11, NIV)

Wow. A nightmare for me. Take a trip completely unprepared? With nothing but the clothes on your back? No provisions? No money? Those haunting “what if” questions would plague my mind. But it goes on…

‘“On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”’ (vs 18-20, NIV)

That phrase ‘at that time’ is extremely daunting for me. You mean I wouldn’t have a speech already prepared and a lawyer on call? I wouldn’t have a file full of evidence to the contrary - to prove them wrong and to prove myself right? No. In fact it’s only at the last minute, it’s ‘at that time’ that the Spirit will speak for me and through me?

This piece of scripture speaks purely of one thing to me - total reliance on God. Total. Utter. One hundred percent, complete and unwavering reliance on God. That’s incredible. Jesus is sending them out with one mission:

Matthew 10:8 (NIV)
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”

God’s healing power is free.
His deliverance from bondage is free.
And so is His provision.

(A poem by Natalie Waterson)

Lord, teach me to rely on You
To live my life by Your divine provision alone

Lord, teach me to rely on You
May my faith be tested and grown

Lord, teach me to rely on You
To leave my pride at the foot of the throne

Lord, teach me to rely on You
May Your promises be my spine and backbone

Lord, teach me to rely on You
Through the storms and all the unknown

Lord, teach me to rely on You
To stand firm upon my rock and cornerstone

Lord, teach me to rely on You
May strongholds be overthrown

Lord, teach me to rely on You
My will to Yours dissolved

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