Help! A Four Letter Word?
Help is a four letter word to some. Carol shows we can be stubborn, insulted, even angered when people offer to help.
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Help! What a simple little four letter word. When I look at a mess of pieces from a 2000 piece puzzle scattered across a table I want to run away or shout Help! I hate the thought of even digging out the edge pieces, let alone making the complete picture. I would have no problem accepting help for doing a puzzle. I might even sit back and let others do most of the work putting the picture together.
But – oh isn’t that little word one that can change how we think about it in different circumstances. When it comes to admitting I need help with other things in my life, admitting some limitations, it seems to go against the messages we get from so many directions in our lives. It does not fit with pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps or being independent or self-sufficient. Asking for and accepting help implies a weakness or a lack in our lives – or does it really?
Ephesians 4: 32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another , forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
Colossians 3: 12 – 14 says
“Therefore , as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you many have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Galatians 3: 10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
New Testament Believers
Throughout the New Testament believers are commanded to be kind, compassionate, forgiving, show love and doing good to others, especially to other believers. We are to reach out and make a difference – a positive difference in someone else’s life. We need to be finding ways to help others when they need it.
I know I desire to help others. I want to make that positive difference by my words, attitude and my actions. But there is a flip side to this coin. In order to give the help to others we need someone to accept it. Why is it so much easier for me to offer help than to receive it? Why do I dislike, maybe even hate to make myself vulnerable and admit I could use some help – in things other than putting together a puzzle?
Asking For Help
No one would think me weak or think less of me because we worked together to finish a puzzle would they? I don’t think so. Then why do I change how I believe people will perceive me if I ask for help in other life situations?
Years ago I went through a health crisis. I could not breathe and breathing is rather important. I had a serious lung infection and my asthma flared up. I spent two weeks in hospital while my husband ran our second hand store, looked after our youngest who had some disabilities and our son who was in grade twelve. With this busy schedule, a teenage son at home, a younger daughter who had limited abilities to do things around the house you can imagine the things that got left undone. Even when I was released from the hospital, I had limited strength and breath and needed to rest a lot. My house showed neglect since it did not have to be the priority while I was so ill.
An older lady from church arrived with freshly baked home- made bread. What a treat. She asked about my health and I honestly told her what I knew from the doctors. Then she said, “We’d like to help you. Can we come and clean your house?”
Without hesitation I replied, “Oh we’ll be fine.” Because I hated the thought of anyone seeing how much cleaning needed to be done. What would they think of me as a housekeeper?
Yet this dear lady knew exactly what needed to be done and why. She did not need much of an imagination to know that my husband and children would not have been able to keep up with everything and clean the house and visit me. Priority meant the house could wait. She looked at me with eyes filled with compassion and a hint of rebuke as she spoke these words that burned into my heart, “You know, you make it really hard to bless you.”
A Stubborn Streak
I wish I could tell you that I changed my mind instantly and let the ladies come and clean my house but that stubborn streak of doing it myself or maybe letting my mother clean when she arrived in a day or two, took over. I still told her, “I never thought of it like that but we’ll be okay. Thanks for the offer.”
Help! I needed it desperately that day but I refused to acknowledge my need or accept the help offered so freely. I still struggle with accepting help yet God needs us to not only help others but allow them to do good for us and help us in our time of need.
I pray we will learn to say, “Thank you. I appreciate it.” and then get out of the way and let others bless us with help.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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