Read Jeremiah 17:7-8
The inertia of our flesh and our culture leads us toward self-sufficiency and lures us into believing we can be in control or manage our lives or live above limits. It may manifest in a variety of ways for each of us, but we all have this magnetic pull to depend on ourselves, to resist our own neediness.
It’s one of the reasons I love Advent so much. Advent is all about waiting, and in waiting, we are forced to acknowledge our need. We remember that we do not, in fact, possess all that we long for. We sit in yearning. And yet. We wait for the One who came near, and when we wait for Him, we do not wait in vain. In waiting for something we know is certain — Immanuel — we rehearse and deepen a confident expectation in God’s presence and work.
The verses before these in Jeremiah 17 paint a bleak picture of the outcome when our confidence is in the flesh: a shrub in the desert, a salt land where there is no food. Trusting in ourselves makes our lives a barren wilderness. But the picture of those whose confidence is in the Lord is one of flourishing. When we trust in Him, we are positioned next to living water, and our fruit comes from our connection to that ever-sufficient life source. When we hope in Him, we do not fear drought because we have something better than rain.
What is your confidence in? Where have you placed your hope? Ask the Lord to reveal ways that you are trusting in the flesh or putting your confidence somewhere besides Him.
Immanuel, in Your coming to us You have invited us into the rhythms of true dependence, into experiencing the flourishing that comes when we draw our nourishment from You. We falter and stumble, but we long to be rooted more deeply in Your sustaining grace. Grow our confidence in You, even in this Advent season, we pray. Amen.
Jenny is a member of Scarlet City and volunteers in various capacities.