“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is the ultimate reward.”
— Patricia Sampson
When God called upon Noah to prepare for forty days and forty nights of rain, you have to know Noah was overwhelmed. Even though the God he trusted gave him instructions on how he, his family, and a multitude of animals would be able to survive a catastrophic flood, you can only assume he was frustrated. I can actually picture him begging God for more help. But God did not simply give Noah a premade ark; he did not even drop off pre-prepared supplies. He gave him directions and a deadline and made Noah figure out the rest.
This was not a new idea for God. He did the same thing to Adam when he and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden. Before that moment, God had provided absolutely everything Adam and his wife could ever need. Once they were removed, God instructed Adam he would only be able to eat that which he worked for (Genesis 3:19).
We are not called to rely on others for survival. We are not even called to rely on God. We are simply instructed to rely on ourselves. Certainly, we can expect God will support us along the way. If we stay connected to him through prayer and devotion, as Moses did, we know He will offer guidance, but it is up to us to follow His advice.
Self-reliance is not about selfishness. It is about being able to take care of yourself and your family, not only on a daily basis but in the event of unplanned catastrophes. Just like Noah and Adam, we have to be prepared to work to support our families. We cannot rely on others to do it for us, nor should be expect them to.
We may not live in a society where self-reliance is taught very often, but we do live in a world where it is called for by God.