I’m not that great at asking for help. I’d much rather be the one lending a hand, dropping off a meal, watching kids, and spurring you on to be all that you can be.
To allow someone to see that your toilet seats are covered in pee, and smelly laundry is piled up higher than your youngest child, or that your refrigerator is a giant science experiment, or that you really aren’t handling the current stressful situation that well takes humility. (And by your and you I really mean me.) It’s a lesson I’m still learning. In fact, as I read through the galley of my book today, I cringed when I read my own words:
And if you are in a season of receiving, be willing to accept the gifts God gives you through the people He places in your life.
During last week’s crisis, Kedron’s siblings stepped up to the plate to pinch hit for us. And with each phone call, each hour spent sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a cold hospital room, each load of laundry done, each dishwasher load emptied, each line of homework supervised, I felt God’s strong arms wrap around me. His arms were their arms. And as my brother-in-law hugged me and wouldn’t let go on Monday night, I melted into silent tears. I knew I wasn’t alone; God was reminding me through the practical outpouring of love through those who surrounded us. I also knew I didn’t have to pretend to be strong and brave and have it all together. In fact, climbing alone and acting like we don’t need help isn’t safe.
We need each other. That also means we need to be willing to ask for and accept help. Last week reminded me of the illustration I used I about strong friendships being like the relationship between a climber and a belayer:
Strong friendships are much like the relationship between a climber and belayer. The belayer supports the climber, offering encouragement and direction, but the climber must communicate when she needs help. While the climber may not be able to see past the current rock, the belayer can see the path to the top and offer suggestions for the next step. She keeps the climber safe and is there to help steady her if she stumbles, or more importantly, to catch her if she should fall. (Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? p. 40)
Sometimes when you’ve got your face smashed against a rock, you can’t see past it, but your belayer can. There will be times when you need to help a friend see the good things in her life. You are the outside pair of eyes that can see God’s work, when all she can see is the rock of impossibility in front of her. (p. 46)
Accepting the help of others last week was accepting God’s help. To reject their help would be to deny them the blessing that comes with serving someone else.
Thank you to all of you who held my rope last week, whether it was up close and personal in the dirt and grime of my life, or whether it was from afar through encouraging messages and prayer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
(Kedron continues to slowly improve. He has a follow up appointment later this week.)
How about you? How do you respond when others offer to help? How have you been reminded of God’s care for you through the actions of others?
Brenda Yoder says
Your analogy of climbers is beautiful. My mother in law was an artist at offering help at just the right time before I knew I needed to ask. When she passed away several years ago, I had 4 children ages 8 and under, I realized how much she helped me when I didn’t know it. Asking for and receiving help stretches you in every way. I’m thankful for people in my life I feel comfortable tapping on a shoulder when I need help. They are few, but they are the ones who even clean pee if needed. They are keepers.
Oh Brenda your mother-in-law sounds like she was simply wonderful. What a gift when people like her share their love and generosity in such practical ways.