by: Erin Weidemann
Do you ever find it hard to let someone help? I do. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I could be standing red-faced in the kitchen with my mitts around a pickle jar, on the wrong end of a silent “twist off ” with the lid. My husband calls over from the couch, “You need help?” I roll my eyes and huff some air out of my mouth. “No, I’m good,” I mutter. My shoulders are sore and my wrist bones are angry, but I keep trying until I get so mad that one last turn finally forces it into a satisfying submission.
I ordered a new chair for my teacher desk (the old one was like sitting on a slightly padded slab of concrete). When it arrived, Mr. Felix, our school’s all-star maintenance man, brought it up to my classroom. It was still in the box, so he offered to help me put it together. “No thanks,” I said. “I can do it.” What? He looked at me, obviously puzzled, like this was the first time in history he had delivered a not-put-together chair to someone and been told that he wouldn’t personally be assembling it. He left his toolbox for me, and I got to work.
Why is it so hard to let someone help? After all, my husband saw I was having trouble. He is stronger than me. It stands to reason that he’d have less of a tough time getting that jar open. Mr. Felix’s job at our school is to take care of all of the tasks that require a handyman’s expertise. Side by side, there’s really no question that he’s more qualified than me to put that chair together, and he was happy to do it. Why didn’t I just say, “Yes, that would be so great,” and hand over the screwdriver?
I was watching my daughter the other day. She was sitting on the floor with her pink plastic sippy cup. Its lid had twisted off, and she was in a concentrated stare that made me giggle. She was trying to figure out how to put it back on. She’d tap the pieces together, then separate her hands and look at the way the two pieces were positioned. Then, she would try again. Then she would throw them, pick them back up, and try again. This went on for several minutes as she became more and more frustrated. I watched her and thought to myself, how long should I let this go on before I step in? She’s only fifteen months old, so I gave her twenty or so tries before I reached out. “Let me help you,” I said gently. I took the cup and lid, twisted them together, and gave her back the cup.
I think God is looking down at us sometimes and thinking the same thing. “Let me help you,” He says. But, we don’t listen. No, God. I got it, we say. We keep trying to do everything ourselves, like we can do it better than He can. We push and fight and struggle to try to make something happen or get something done, only to feel disappointed and a little less worthy when it doesn’t go exactly the way we want.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains– where does my help come from?
The help that we need is found in Him. We need to look up and ask God for help. More than that, we need to give God control over our struggles. The annoyances, frustrations, and the real dangers we encounter. Finding Him in prayer allows this to happen. It requires us to stop and think for a second about what He would have us do, then ask Him to show us how to let Him step in.
He is our help, the reliable, most qualified One to lead us through this life and assist us in handling the conflicts that come our way. And, he is the one who makes the miracles. So, take a deep breath and loosen your grip on the things you want to control, and let Him take the lead.
Do you ever find it hard to ask for help?
Photo Cred: Danny Froese
Erin is an enthusiastic and goofy mom to two children, one of them with paws. She is a wife, author, teacher, former college athlete and a five time cancer survivor. Her heart is in Seville, Spain, though she calls Encinitas, CA home. In her spare time she enjoys going to the beach with her husband and daughter, coaching softball, and pretending she can bake. She loves eating, laughing, and volunteering at Sunday school. Alongside her husband, she is the co-founder of Bible Belles, an organization committed to teaching girls about the female heroes of the Bible.