I used to be defensive about needing God. I’d push back on the language that described God or religion as a crutch. Certainly, I’d roll my eyes at Karl Marx’s famous words that “Religion is the opium of the people.”
Until last week, when I ran across that quote and thought, My word. Karl Marx is right!
Well, kinda, sorta.
Opium, of course, is dangerous stuff. It lures people in with promises of relieving pain, with mountain-top highs. But ultimately, opium leaves its users depleted, empty.
Nothing like God.
But here’s what Marx got right: opium leaves its users needy, desperate, looking everywhere for it.
Though God doesn’t promise pain relief or mountain-top highs—instead, he promises walking with us in our pain, in both valleys and mountains—and certainly doesn’t leave us haggard and depleted, truth be told: true intimacy with God does leave us needy, desperate, on the lookout for God everywhere.
At least, it has with me. And I’ve found needing God—as a crutch! As our hope!—is one of the great blessings in life. Learning to lean on God and God alone for our peace, our joy, our strength, our comfort, our security, our rest is how we learn that God is able, that he is trustworthy.
Caryn Rivadeneira is an author, editor and speaker. She earned a B.A. in English from Calvin College and attended the University of Chicago’s publishing program. Caryn lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Rafael, her three kids, and a rescued pit bull terrier. Caryn and her family are members of Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Ill. To learn more about Caryn, please visit her website. Twitter: @carynrivadeneir