It’s been said that the act of asking for help and openly receiving it is one of the hardest things to do, yet this act is so essential to our well-being in life. Just think for a moment how many times you have helped someone, and you know that without your help, the result would have been, at best, bad, and, at worst, disastrous for that person. You should feel humbled and thankful that your contribution at the moment, whether emotionally, financially, or physically, aided in such a favorable outcome.
However, what if you hadn’t known about this person’s need? What if no one asked for your help? How would you feel, knowing that your friends or family suffered because they didn’t have your help? And you failed to help them, not because you withheld your assistance, but because they wouldn’t ask for it, thus, you had no idea that they needed you.
Some feel that to ask for help is a sign of weakness, as though needing help communicates inferiority to others. Others may not ask for help when they need it because they have no way to return the favor. In the American South, we have successfully elevated the idea of the self-made person to the point that we now boast, “I got this,” in the face of terminal illness, emotional breakdown, spiritual trial, and a host of other personal hardships, all the while reluctant to ask for a little help. Some will say, “I take it to the Lord in prayer.” And to that, I reply, ‘Hallelujah, of course, you should make your requests known to God.” However, don’t forget that God instructs us to share our burdens (needs) with each other.
Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
We all need a little help, and sometimes a lot, now and then. It requires humility to ask for help, and no one likes feeling vulnerable. And yet, we are all very vulnerable, living in great need every day. We need God to grant us our next breath. I will have whatever financial means God grants me to have. If I have a need, He will provide. If I have plenty, it’s because He gave it. He superintends it all and designs both want and plenty for my good and His glory.
I guess Job did have the best perspective on the matter. He said, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” However, there are times when “we have not, because we ask not.” And it’s in those times that I really what to encourage us to reach out to those around us. And when we are in need, and someone comes along and offers to help, consider this: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…” (James 1:17 NLT) That means when help comes, and it makes a difference, then it came from above.
So, if your friend has the means to help, and you know they would want to help, then allow them the joy of being God’s ambassador of grace. And in due time, you, too, will get the opportunity to serve God and love your friend in a similar way. Because remember, we need each other. That’s why God us placed in families, among friends, and at work together, as we work at HealthKeeperz. People need us every day, and we need them—and God strengthens us for both.
Helping us help each other is how we will care for all people for the glory of God.
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis