So, let’s be vulnerable for a minute or two.
I’m such a needy person. Here is what I need: I need to be told that I am loved. I need attention, affection, and encouragement. I need someone to listen to my problems, I need to be held. I am completely insecure. I’m afraid of being left, I am afraid of being ditched, dumped, and hated. The thought of someone not needing me as much as I need them is scary to me (I mean, how can you not want to be around me?!). My mind cannot fathom the idea that other people aren’t as needy and insecure as me. Doesn’t everyone feel this way?
I am aware that my neediness can be annoying. It’s an annoying quality. We all have those friends who are just a little too needy and clingy. We keep them around because we don’t want to be rude, but we definitely get tired of babying them. Well friends, that person is me. I come with my own diaper bag though, okay?
The WRONG Way to Handle Neediness
I trust in ME. There’s no way that God can supply every single need that I have. He’s obviously missing some of my hints. I need specific things and He’s not catching on. It’s like trying to hint around to your parents about stuff you want for Christmas. Some things, you just have to do for yourself. I mean, He definitely does awesome things and has some good ideas for my life, but I still manage to find better things for myself. I meet really cool people who make me feel precious and loved. They seem to be giving me what I need right now. God doesn’t make me feel this good, He doesn’t satisfy my neediness as quickly as these people do. They must be better.
Wait, stop. Why are you ignoring me? What do you mean, I’m too needy? Come on, what?! I can’t help that I need you to show me affection every second on the second. Don’t leave me, I need you! Don’t you need me? You don’t? Oh…this is awkward.
Neediness is bad. Quit being so needy, Katherine. No one wants to be around someone who is needy. Ew. I am pushing people away. What is wrong with me? Something is clearly wrong with me, or I wouldn’t be this needy. God, why am I so needy? Remove this awful quality…so that people will like me more!
The RIGHT Way to Handle Neediness
Neediness is a good thing. It’s such a good thing. Be needy, be desperate. There is a God that wants me to be completely needy. He tells me to come to Him with my gaping neediness. It brings Him great joy to fill this particular void in my heart. He sees my wretched, needy soul and gets excited at the opportunity to show me how awesome He is.
My weakness is not repulsive. It’s quite the opposite. My weakness does not repel God, it brings Him closer. He wants it. He sees me as a beautiful, precious person in need of grace, love, and affection. And He wants to give me that. God wants to hold me tightly in His arms for eternity and never let me go (Romans 8). He wants me to rest in Him. There is some kind of strength in this weakness, if I can learn to be quiet and trust in Him instead of flee to other things to “satisfy” my longings (Isaiah 30:15).
I shouldn’t pray that my neediness goes away. In fact, it’s a wonderful quality. I’ve been looking at it all wrong. When I am feeling needy, I have an opportunity to grow closer to my Creator. I should pray that I can learn how to bring Him my neediness. Of course He will teach me. Humans crumple under my neediness. They are not meant to handle the weight of my worship. Most people wouldn’t even be able to hold my bodyweight for an extended period of time, let alone the burden of my needs. Good grief. Either I need new friends with better upper-body strength, or I need to refocus.
Luke 12 talks about how God supplies the needs of the ravens, the lilies, and the grass. I was reading it today in regard to anxiety, because that’s what this passage is about. But then my thoughts went back to neediness, which is where my mind has been lately. Birds, grass, and all other creatures in nature are needy. They’ve accepted that they have zero control over their environment. They don’t try to change their situation or become more self-sufficient, they just choose to trust that the rain will come and the sun will shine. They trust that something, somewhere, is going to supply their needs. They are needy creatures and they know that their needs will be fulfilled. I never thought I would want to be more like a tree…but I feel like they are very trusting. If it rains, they get wet. If it snows, they get frosty. They can’t move! They cannot get out of their environment, and who knows if they have ever tried (can trees try?). They don’t trust other trees to give them anything. They rely on water to come satisfy their thirst because they are helpless. They know it’s going to come. They know their needs will be satisfied. Maybe that’s why they stay. I want to be like that. I want to be so positive that my needs will be fulfilled that I am content to stay. I want to be content in my situations, I don’t want to manipulate my surroundings. I want to trust that my needs will be fulfilled without me having to attempt to take control. Can you imagine if a tree tried to uproot itself and walk to a gas station to buy a bottle of water? It would probably not make it very far.
This week, I want to be completely needy. I want to be needy of affection, love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy. I want to be in desperate need of Christ. And I want to learn to trust that He will satisfy my needs; He will satisfy my thirst.
Here is a helpful question: What do you NEED? If your answer is anything other than Jesus, you might want to refocus as well.