I hate to bother you.
I wouldn’t want to overstay my welcome.
Wouldn’t want to put you out.
Don’t want to inconvenience you.
These are all true for me, pretty much all of the time. I never like to be in the position where I need someone’s help, where I can’t do it for myself. And, if I find myself in that position, I absolutely want to make sure that I can repay the good turn you’ve given me with something even better. And if I can do this beforehand – make deposits into your bank of goodwill before I need anything from you – well, that’s even better. In that case, I’ll still feel bad “calling in a favor”. For me, one of the hardest things to do is to accept help. Even harder still to ask for help. It betrays the way I’ve always tried to live my life. I don’t want to be the guy who has to be carried around by others. I guess you could say that one of my biggest “needs” in life is not to have any needs. Let me serve you. Let me take care of it. I got this. Just ring me up in my big, empty castle when you want to talk…
Thing is, sometimes I don’t “got this”. My un-help-able persona is a lie. A vanity. Perhaps even an idol in my life. God didn’t put me here on Earth to be completely self-reliant. My role in life is to be God-reliant. And sometimes that means letting others in my life be used by God to provide what I could not provide for myself. This fact is made very real for me this week, as I have been calling upon the help and support of a number of people here in Dublin to get through a situation I myself am powerless to affect. I came to Dublin to serve, not to be served. To give help, not ask for help. To be a blessing to others, not to ask others to bless.
And yet here we are.
This helpless position is not a comfortable one. But it is a place in which my pride can be chipped away. Where my posture can shift from stubborn to submissive, from headstrong to kneeling. Once again, I am reminded that the journey is not my own. That my hope is not in how clever or how strong or how patient I myself can be. This is a lesson I am taught over and over again, because I need it.
But what is the flip side of this helplessness? I have hope in Christ. I’ve talked about hope here, but it is a topic I must continue to revisit as I go along. If my hope is in myself, then – no matter how great I may be – I’m always going to be disappointed. My wit, my wisdom, my perseverance, my strength, and my abilities are inconstant and prone to failure. But my God has never failed. He has the whole picture, where I just see a slice. He has already worked out the solutions in each circumstance. He is strong where I am weak, and that’s a good thing, because I will always be weak compared to Him.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation. Psalm 68:19 [NASB]
Salvation is not a one-time thing! I was helpless to solve my sin problem (more on that here), and I am also helpless to work out the complexities of life. May I choose to focus on the hope my God brings to the equation rather than the struggles of recognizing my own helplessness. I would love your prayers, both for my circumstances and for my posture. See? Now I’m even asking for your help.