There was once a five year boy named Jimmy. He had a mother and a father who loved him very much. He also had a three year old brother and a baby sister. Jimmy had a normal family and he was a normal five year old.
One day, for no apparent reason, Jimmy decided that he would not be needing his parents anymore. He made up his mind that he would be able to make it just fine on his own. That is big decision for a five year old to make. Not many kids that age can handle the world on their own. But Jimmy was confident that he could do it. His mother had already taught him the alphabet and how to count to a hundred, and he just decided he did not need his parents for anything else. He would make it in this world by himself.
The interesting thing about this is that Jimmy never left home. He never went out on his own. He just quit believing that his parents were taking care of him. He had told himself that he was on his own now, and he just ignored the fact that his parents were still taking care of him, still feeding him, still buying his clothes, still letting him sleep under their roof; still doing everything that parents do for their children. The parents had not changed at all.
But Jimmy changed. He used to be a friendly and pleasant little boy. Now he never talked to his parents at all, he never listened to them, and acted as though they were not even there. He still ate all the food that was on his plate, still watched the family TV, and he still played with the toys his parents brought home. But he never paid any attention to his parents, or even acknowledged they were in the room.
Jimmy’s parents were heartbroken. This little boy for whom they had done everything and who they loved so much, did not even look at them anymore. And nothing they did could change him.
Jimmy, meanwhile, was quite proud of himself. He thought he was doing rather well on his own. He could feed and dress himself, he went to sleep when he was tired, and he played whenever he wanted. He enjoyed being on his own.
One day when Jimmy was outside, he fell on some glass and cut his knee. For the first time in a long time he went running to his mother, crying for help. She, of course, was more than happy to help him. Even though Jimmy had for a long time been ignoring her, she still was doing everything a mother does to care for her child. Jimmy was very grateful, and for several days he was his old self, talking and playing with his mom and dad.
But it wasn’t long before he again decided he did not need them, and went back to ignoring them. Jimmy liked being on his own.
The only other time that whole year that Jimmy talked to his parents was just before Christmas. He remembered the Christmas when he was four years old and did not want to take any chances on missing out on all the presents. But soon after, he was back to ignoring his parents. Jimmy enjoyed not having to bother with his parents and depend on them for everything, so he stayed that way for a long time, only warming up to them for a while at Christmas or when he got sick or hurt or scared.
It is obvious, of course, that Jimmy was never really on his own at all. All the while, his parents were still caring for him in every way. His lack of attention to them and lack of appreciation for them and his failure to even acknowledge their love and care hurt them deeply and they did not understand it. But they did not stop loving him and providing for him.
This is how silly it must look to God when frail and helpless little human beings of any age think they can be independent of their Creator, believing they do not need Him anymore. The Bible says much about our DEPENDENCE on God and our need to TRUST in God, but many live as though they do not need to depend on or trust in God at all. They might even criticize those who do believe in God as weaklings who cannot handle life on their own. (continued…)
Deuteronomy 8:11-18 (parts) — Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God… Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied… then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God… You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Zechariah 10:1 — Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.