Miss independent 2

So I’m jogging at the park to the sounds of a little smooth jazz and R&B

Not my usual groove, but it goes with the cool breeze, setting the pace as R&B Artist Ne-Yo coos in my ear:

“She got her own thing that’s why I love her
Miss Independent
Won’t you come and spend a little time
She got her own thing that’s why I love her
Miss Independent
Oh the way you shine”

 “Yep”, I think. “That’s me”. I got my oowwwnnn thing. “Yep, I gotta hand it to myself – I’ve made it on my own, lo these many years”.

Now, I don’t know much about this singer or any other song of his, but at this moment, I think he has a point!

“Ooh there’s somethin about kinda woman that can do for herself
I look at her and it makes me proud
There’s something about her”

“Cool groove”, I think. “It is something to not have to depend on ANYONE. I’m proud of that. Yeah, I GOT THIS”.

Now I’m really got a good clip going, and apparently the voice in my ear agrees:

“Her favorite thing to sa, “ Don’t worry I got it”
And everything she got best believe she bought it…”

By now this ego-puffing song has me nodding along. “Yep, everything I got, you best believe I bought it”!

I think about how self-sufficient I am, and how I like it that way.

Now I’m really groovin’, with diva wrist snaps and singing along:

“No doubt, it’s somethin about her
Cause she work like a boss
play like a boss
Car and a crib she bouta pay em both off
And the bills are paid on time yeah (1) 

Like the screech a record makes when you yank the needle away, another thought crossed my mind:

It’s so easy to think we are invincible, especially when it comes to material ease. It’s easy to look around at our “stuff” and credit ourselves for every material trophy: the car, the house and everything in it.

Yes, I believe in hard work, and I’m not taking one sliver away from us single women who work hard to earn a living. It’s an accomplishment to work hard and thrive as we carry our own load. (And in killer heels, I might add!)

In fact, the Bible describes the strong and resourceful woman in Proverbs 31 as one who takes care of her household, (v. 15) one who buys and sells and makes a profit, (16), as someone who is creative, (v. 22) and constantly productive. (v. 19, 27).

However, it also describes her as one who fears the Lord, (v. 30), which means to revere the Lord. According to the commentary from the MacArthur Study Bible, (NKJV), this reverence involves a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s. (2)

Even as I was listening to this song about “independence”, I knew better. You can be successful and begin to believe that your “prosperity” will never go away until something happens that shakes that security. Then we see that our “independence” is as thin as a pink slip. For me it was the dire reality of illness. Staring at the ceiling for many days during a bout of Chronic Fatigue will do that. I believe in persevering, but we can’t heal ourselves. Only God can do that. He provides the doctors and medicine, even the nutrition and strength to heal. As sure as I was jogging around, I knew He did for me.

Illness can strike, but so can job loss, or betrayal, or a natural disaster…you name it. Anything can happen in a heartbeat, so in that sense this message would apply to anyone.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. (Proverbs 16:9)

We may have the abilities, the confidence, the ingenuity and intelligence to accomplish so much, but who do you think gave us any of this to begin with?

“…A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven”. (John 3:27)

Think about the opportunities that seem to come by chance; it’s rare to stumble across a job opportunity by simply filling out an application directly on a company’s website, but that’s how I found my present job. I don’t think for a minute that wasn’t God’s doing.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

Who do you think places us in the positions we have, no matter what they are? We all fit in somewhere to make this world go around.

“May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge” (Ruth 2;12)

Let’s praise Him in the good times, and know that He will provide in the struggles.

Have you ever thought you were invincible? What is it about human nature that makes us think we are? Have you ever experienced something that changed your perspective?

1)       “Miss Independent”, from “Year of the Gentleman” 2008, M.Eriksen, T. Hermansen, S. Smith, Def Jam Label
2)       The John MacArthur Bible, Copyright 1997, Word Publishing