This month, I’m going to cheat a little bit (yeah, I know, cheating is never good). With this article, I am going to be spinning off from something I wrote at the end of last month’s Msquared’s Musings. It’s that we can’t do anything without God’s help. Last time it was in the context of getting back into a new routine.
Now with all the chaos and calamity going on in the world, I realize now that we really need God in our lives. I’d like to start out this month not with a bible verse, but with some song lyrics. Specifically, the chorus to the song by Plumb, “Need You Now”. It goes like this:
“How many times have you heard me cry out, ‘God please take this?’ How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing? Oh, I need you; God, I need you now.”
We’ve all been in moments like this in our lives; Where we have dug ourselves in a pit that we think we cannot get out of, but we cry out, and God gives us the strength to carry on. This wraps around perfectly with the bible verse that this article will be centered around, also mentioned at the end of last months article:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5 NIV
“Apart from me you can do nothing”. That is the hardest hitting line of the entire verse. We always seem to think that we can make it through this life on our own, and that’s the root of the issue.
There was a study in 1977 by two researchers from Villanova University and Temple University that gave birth to the psychological term “Illusory Truth Effect”, which an article I found on Farnham Street describes perfectly. “This is how the illusory truth effect works”, it says.“We all have a tendency to believe something is true after being exposed to it multiple times. The more times we’ve heard something, the truer it seems.” Case in point, the more times that we’ve heard ourselves say “I can go through this life without God”, the more we perceive it as a fact. It’s etched into our brains like hearts with the first letter of lovers’ names in trees that people did back in the 80’s (or was that only in 80’s teen Rom-Coms?), and circles around our brains like the ticker on the morning news.
Just for fun, let’s provide some answers to the questions Plumb asks in the chorus of her song. How many times has God heard us cry out to take a burden away from our hearts, to basically lift that 300 lb weight off of our shoulders? Countless times. From that, how many times He wrapped his arms around us and told us to keep breathing? Also countless times.
So wait; God has been there countless times to take our burdens and gave us strength to carry on… Yet we STILL continue to think that we can take on life’s storms on our own? HOW HAS OUR THINKING BECOME SO SKEWED?!
There’s another song – actually a hymn – that works in this situation. It’s the hymn “Only Trust Him”. What does the chorus to that say? “Only trust him, only trust him, only trust him now. He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.”
Notice how that doesn’t say, “Only trust our own thinking because we know better”. No, it says Only trust Him, only trust Him now. Not US, HIM. Understand?