Created to need.
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There is one trait that we all started out with as babies. We were all unashamedly needy.
When infants experience hunger, pain, or discomfort they never feel shame for making their needs known. They don’t apologize for pulling milk from the very body of their mamas every 1-3 hours, or asking them to awake from their slumber. It would never occur to them to speak an apology even if they could. They quite naturally cling to mom for all of their needs. If they didn’t, they would die.
Something changes as we grow up though, doesn’t it? Along the way we start feeling guilty for having needs. Perhaps when we were young we were shamed and told to suck it up when we were in need of nurture. Perhaps we were neglected, abused, too often disappointed, or we simply had self reliant temperaments. Maybe we’re just good, American “rugged individualists”. Whatever the reasons, we begin to believe we should not need others or God. We should not need, period.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18: 2-3 New International Version
However, God has designed our relationship with Himself and with the church to be interdependent. The scriptures are sprinkled with the verbiage of sheep and the Shepherd, different parts in the Body of Christ (the Church), Living Water, Bread of Life, and becoming like children. These are all descriptive of relationships radically reliant on God and on one another.
To ignore our needs is to become our own god; prideful, self-righteous, or else shriveled up from being isolated in hiding with our shame. We were created to need God like an infant needs her mother. We were designed to need each other for loving, giving, and belonging. We need to recover our unashamed neediness for a full Life in Christ and in community.
Copyright photo and text Jennifer Brukiewa