January 7 – Habits – Asking for help

Read James 1:5

Each year in the fall, I can my own applesauce. If you do this too, you know it is a process that can take an entire day. I was prepared to process about three bushels of apples this one particular day. I dumped the first pan of cooked apples in the strainer and turned the crank. Pop! The whole strainer fell apart like a cartoon contraption. Hot apples went everywhere on the table and floor.  I cleaned up the wasted apples, and managed to put the strainer back together without burning my fingers. I tried to run some apples through again but it came apart again!

I needed help!

Have you ever felt desperate for help? What do you do in situations like these? I become single-minded in my quest to problem-solve and find a solution and try to fix it on my own. Sometimes that strategy works, but often times, the problem is beyond my control.

Then what?

 “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him, and He will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.”

It’s a simple three- letter word, yet so hard to do – ask.

What makes this so difficult to do?

  • We don’t want to be seen as weak or incapable of doing something that others seem to handle just fine. We tell ourselves lies about being able to conquer all the challenges we encounter.
  • We don’t know what to ask for. The situation is complicated and seems hopeless so why bother asking for help?
  • We hope that ignoring the problem will just make it go away on its own. Asking for help means admitting a problem exists.

None of these are good excuses for resisting help. When we seek out help, we are actually living the way God designed us to live.

“I can do all things with the help of Christ who gives me strength…”

Paul did not say he could do it alone and neither should we. God welcomes our requests for help and will not resent our asking or think less of us. In our strong-willed, self-sufficient society, it seems that it is rarely acceptable to ask for help. This mindset is debilitating. It creates a reliance on self, not on community for which God designed us. We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves when we think we can do it all without help. In fact, God designed us to need each other. In Genesis 2:18, God said it’s not good for man to live alone and He created Eve as a helper for him. God knew that life would get rough and that we would need to rely on each other for help.

Have you been asked to help? That day when I needed help with my applesauce, I called a friend who had a strainer I could borrow. She showed up at my house within 30 minutes to help me the rest of the day. She was elated to lend a hand and meet my need. I imagine that is how it is for God who wants to help His children. He is thrilled to be asked for help!

The next time you are facing a situation that is beyond your capabilities, ask for help. When you don’t know what to do next, ask for help. Make it a habit to swallow your pride and seek the advice or help of others. Ask God to put people in your path who will respond when you need them. Ask God to use you to respond to the needs of others.

Tammy Finney

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