Thursday, March 11, 2010

Self-sufficiency and Dependency

According to the definition in Wikipedia, “Self-sufficiency refers to the state of not requiring any outside aid, support, or interaction, for survival.”

As a conservative with a strong belief in personal accountability and the importance of self-reliance (as opposed to dependency on say the government), I’ve thought a lot about our current trial and how I’ve become dependent in ways I never dreamed I’d have to be. I’m not to the point yet of drawing too many new conclusions on this particular subject, but I’m reminded once again of how little I know and how much room there is to grow.

Less confusing to me—at least now—is my dependency on the Lord. I think for many years I tried to be good enough that maybe I wouldn’t be so dependent on Christ for salvation; maybe I could kind of save myself. I shudder now to think it was ever even possible to be so wrong about something so important.

“Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” (John 13:8)

As simple as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, there seems to be a real tendency to misunderstand the absolute necessity of being saved by Christ. We may keep the commandments diligently, we may do all we can to be faithful and live good, clean lives. At the end of the day, we cannot save ourselves from physical death or spiritual death. Christ is our only hope. And His message of hope—the good news to all the world—is that He does indeed have the power to save us if we will (1) have faith in Him, (2) repent, (3) be baptized, (4) receive the Holy Ghost, and (5) endure to the end.

For me, the fight to save Talitha’s life has compelled me to humble myself more than ever before and call upon the Lord and plead with Him to do things on behalf of Talitha and our family that I clearly cannot do myself.

What concerns me just a tad bit is the realization that I am no more dependent now on Christ (and His atoning power and grace) than before. What has changed is my increased awareness of this dependency due to a trial beyond my capacity to pretend otherwise.

I’m so grateful for His patience in teaching me and for allowing me the space to learn even if it is through a difficult trial. (I guess I’m coming to realize that I might not have learned some of these necessary lessons in any other way.)
They’ve started Talitha on Leucavorin to help rescue her from the highly toxic Methotrexate. If her pace is anything similar to the first two induction rounds, it will take a good 3 to 4 days to clear the Methotrexate out of her system so they can proceed with the other chemotherapy regiments.

She ate a great dinner and is still drinking lots. The chemo is very hard on her bowels and causes her significant discomfort when trying to go to the bathroom. Very hard to see her cry when she’s just trying to process normal bodily functions.

They will be checking her ears again tomorrow to see if the redness is cleared. Please pray for Talitha that her ears may be well and healthy. We urgently hope they will not feel it necessary to pump more antibiotics into her system.

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