Asking For Help

6 11 2013

I need help. Those words are harder to say than I imagined. I don’t like having to depend on others, reveal vulnerability, or admit that I can’t do it. I have to confess that my pride has gotten in the way of practicality more than once. But I am learning how to ask for help and accept it with grace. Here are a couple of lessons that I have learned as I am learning to ask for help.

First, nobody cares. I don’t mean that in the negative way. Nobody cares that I need help. They are fine with lending a hand even as I struggle with asking for one. People are less judgmental than I thought. The people who really matter don’t see weakness, imperfection, or someone who doesn’t measure up. They just see me, where I am in this moment, and love me in a way that embraces the good and the difficult.

Second, kindness abounds. More people are willing to help than I imagined. And not just family and friends. Complete strangers are kind and generous too. One lady told me about being in the airport and needing to walk across the terminal to the restroom. She looked at the distance and knew she couldn’t make it on her own. She tapped the hand of the man sitting next to her and asked for help. He took her arm, walked her to the door, and waited for her to come out.

Third, asking for help is helping me look more like Jesus. Being divine, Jesus didn’t need anything, but He still asked for help. He sat in the desert by a well and asked for a drink of water. Crowds saw tears roll down His cheeks. He let people make Him dinner, watch Him sleep, see Him struggle in prayer, and wrestle with sorrow. Jesus allowed others to serve Him and provide for His needs. Jesus was transparent. I need to follow in His steps.

My Jesus Resolution today is to ask for help when I need it. It is hard, but so many blessings flow out of laying down my desire to have it all together and just admit I need a hand. I am seeing with new eyes. My heart is softer and more humble. I appreciate the safety that comes from being honest. I have met some neat people and been overwhelmed with gratitude. I always want to be someone who extends kindness. Now I am learning that receiving kindness is its own special kind of grace.





Magnets

4 11 2013

Magnets are cool. Because of the complex and intricate way God designed the earth, magnets have the power of attraction. When iron is magnetized, it can pull other pieces of metal closer. Magnets even have the power to transform metal that is not magnetized into something that attracts other metals.

Magnets have two poles. One pole will repel while the other pole attracts. When you play with magnets, you can feel its power. The invisible force either draws or resists efforts to join it to another magnet.

In many ways, the world is full of magnets – things that pull at our hearts, attract our attention, and attempt to draw us in. In order to resist the world’s pull, we have to be remagnetized. Our hearts need to be transformed so that they are no longer attracted to what is worldly, but to what is good and godly. The remagnetization process begins when there is contact between the magnet and the object being changed. At the atomic level, the substance of the metal is reorganized in order to reorient it and make it magnetic. Now it is attracted to the magnet that powered its transformation.

My Jesus Resolution today is to hold a magnet and let its power draw me to Jesus. I don’t want my heart to be attracted to the world, to be stuck to selfishness, pulled by comfort, or drawn to convenience.  I need to undergo a remagnetization process that will transform what my heart finds appealing. I need to be in such constant contact with Jesus that the world loses its pull on my soul. I want my faith to be so magnetized by Christ that it resists the temptations that try to pull me in, but is instead drawn straight into the presence of God.





Common Courage

1 11 2013

Are you courageous? Most of us don’t think of ourselves as particularly courageous. We live ordinary lives and do everyday things. There aren’t many lions’ dens, armed giants, or massive walled cities to conquer amid the laundry, dishes, deadlines, and carpool trips that fill our days. Courage, we believe, is for big moments, bright spotlights, and blinding pressure. We hope we will have it when we need it, but common and courage are rarely used in the same sentence.

The dictionary defines courage as the power to deal with or face danger, fear, difficulty, or pain. It finds its origin in a root word that means “heart.” It is an inner strength to face what lies before us.

You are more courageous than you think. When you choose to look like Jesus in the regular rhythm of your day, you reveal a heart that has been touched by God. Choosing kindness when treated with rudeness requires courage. Choosing service instead of selfishness demands courage. Choosing to speak up when it would be easier to be quiet invokes courage. Choosing graciousness instead of self-pity in the face of a difficult diagnosis or outcome necessitates courage. It takes courage to step out, get up, face your fears, carry your burdens, walk into the unknown, trusting God to lead the way.

My Jesus Resolution today is to pray for common courage. I need courage to face the ordinary challenges that fill my day. I want to recognize God’s presence, depend on His power, and walk in His steps no matter what today holds. I want eyes to see and celebrate the courage that surrounds me every day. I witness more acts of common courage than I realize. I want to recognize God’s fingerprints on those moments. I don’t want to take courage for granted or lose sight of the courage it takes to reflect Jesus in my small corner of the world.