For When We Need Help

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2

I often love to pride myself on being a capable, self-sufficient person, but there are more days than not lately where these ideas are laughable. I can have a great week where I get everything done, feel like a great friend/wife/mom/teacher, have a clean house, and the next week, I’m flat on my back with a raging stomach virus or overwhelmed by the circumstances of life. And as much as sometimes I hate to admit it, the truth is that I. Need. Help.

The good news for me and for you is that God doesn’t need us to have it all together or do it all; He knows that life is too big of a journey to travel alone.

God is quick to bring others across our path when we can’t make it through on our own. Moses was scared to speak and lead, so God sent Aaron to be his helper (Exodus 6:28-7:2). Throughout his ministry, God gave Paul a ministry partner in Barnabus (Acts 11). Throughout Acts, the first Christians regularly shared meals together and sold their possessions to take care of one another (Acts 2:42-47). Sometimes God will equip us with strength and endurance to conquer the tasks of our lives, but more often than not, He gives us the gift of community to carry us through.

It’s always vulnerable to ask for help, but I promise it’s worth it to do so. In this season I’m in, I’m learning to reach out for a hand far more than I used to. Between my best friends and our families, it seems like someone is always sick (or a whole family is) or unexpected bills come, and I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of making a meal, pitching in financially to help, or just being a listening ear when the day feels hard and someone needs to cry and talk it out.

Whether it’s one friend at school, the cabin mates you’ve kept up with this year, your youth group or small group, or your community in college or work, the people God surrounds us with are a gift.

Being part of a community of believers means two things: we need to be vulnerable enough to ask for help, and we also need to be present and aware enough to reach out and help others. Whatever side of the coin you find yourself on today, here are a few questions to get you thinking:

  • For those who need a little help: Where in your life are you feeling vulnerable? Who are safe people you can share these burdens with? What specific things do you need (i.e., prayer, someone to take something off your plate, financial help)? Can you be vulnerable enough to directly ask for this thing?
  • For those who can help: Where has God blessed you in this season that could be a gift to others? Who in your life is struggling and needs a helping hand? Can you make a meal, get a friend a cup of coffee and listen to how they’re doing? Offer to babysit or come help with a project?

As we come together and both give and receive help, we are able to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus. What a gift!

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