It’s difficult to ask for help sometimes.
“Will you hand me that stapler?” – that’s easy. It doesn’t put anyone out. It’s a task that can be accomplished in a couple of seconds.
Asking for real help, assistance that causes people to spend time and effort on your behalf, that’s hard.
Is it just me?
I’m a single woman. I’ve had periods of serious relationship where I could lean on my “significant other,” but for most of my adult life it’s just been me.
For instance, I don’t buy anything that’s too heavy for me to lift by myself. Things don’t get fixed around my house unless I can A) Figure out how to do it myself or B) Afford to pay someone else to do it. When I’m sick or hurt, I tough it out and get myself to the doctor or the drugstore OR I make do with whatever food and medicines I have at home.
But there are times in life that you just need someone’s help. There’s no way I could have had this surgery without real, physical help from many people. It didn’t make me happy to need help. In fact, it had me in tears more than once. But having WLS was something that I wanted enough to push me out of my “never ask for help” zone.
And you know what I found? People don’t really mind helping, if they’re able to. When I said something about hating to ask for help, my wise friend Jeanna made a great point when she said, “Well, think of how you feel when YOU can help someone.”
And that’s such a great point because I DO love to help people. It doesn’t make me feel put upon or annoyed. So why do I expect others to feel that way? I’m really not sure, I just know that’s how I am.
Scripture clearly instructs us to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galations 6:2a). The second part of that verse says “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” What’s the law of Christ? Well, in doing some research, I found this verse:
“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
There it is, straight up – the words of Jesus himself. If he loved me so much that he’d die for me, can’t I muster up enough love for the people in my life to carry their burdens? To pray for their concerns, be kind and understanding, and to offer help when I see that they need it? To not do that is very obviously against the law of Christ.
So when I flip that around, it seems to me that when I try to avoid receiving help, I’m not allowing the law of Christ to be lived out in my life -OR- in the life of the person endeavoring to help me. That scripture clearly means that we should help each other whenever we can. And it seems to me that it’s meant to be a two-way street of giving and receiving assistance.
By that I mean that today I need some of my burdens borne, as much as I dislike it. But tomorrow you may have a burden that’s the perfect size for me to carry. So let’s allow the law of Christ to be lived out in BOTH of our lives. I’m chalking this one up under Lessons Learned.