For some people, asking for help is one of the hardest things in the world to do.
And when I say “some people,” I mean me.
I’ve really taken to heart our society’s way of refusing help when needed. “No, thanks, I got it,” is my go-to answer for nearly everything. I will struggle through a project rather than ask for help every time. The only time I will ask a person for help is if I just really don’t want to do something.
Which is not that often. Mostly I’ll trudge through a chore or activity alone, just because I don’t want the world to think I’m incapable of doing it.
You know, the world – that enormous, living planet we live on? I don’t want it, nor its 7 billion residents, to know that *I* need help.
Silly, isn’t it?
I’ve missed out on opportunities for relationship by shoving fists in my pockets when someone offers a helping hand. I don’t want to know exactly what I’ve missed. A richer relationship with someone? A more positive situational outcome? Ease of work? Time well spent?
By refusing help, I could rob someone of the opportunity to be generous. Someone who today decided to help as many people as they can. Someone who is trying to be less selfish and more giving. Someone who needs to help another for healing.
Jesus asked for help. He knew that we were not made to live alone, to do everything ourselves, to operate singly. He knew we needed community, and he knew the human condition was such that we need help. We are not God. We have limitations. Much as we try, we literally cannot do it all ourselves.
Jesus asked his disciples for help during prayer (Matthew 14:32-34). He asked God for help (Matthew 14:36). He taught us how to ask God for everything (Matthew 7:7, John 4:10, John 14:13-14). The Bible is full of instructions about asking for help.
Despite his holiness, Jesus possessed an I-can’t-do-it-myself attitude when it came to God. The communication lines between him and God were open all the way. He didn’t pause before asking God for help, and he asked people for help when he needed it. He didn’t ask indiscriminately, but intentionally.
Following his lead is hard, but necessary for my own spiritual growth. I’m not learning anything by trying to do everything myself and raising my palm against offers of help from others. This form of pride will hinder my spiritual life. If I don’t ask for or accept help from people, how can I ask for help from God? How will my lines of communication with him stay open?
There’s never a better time to start. Anyone want to help me do this thing?
Dear Lord, I want to depend on you. But I don’t like to feel out of control. Teach me to be more like Jesus. Give me the wisdom to give up my independence to you. Amen.