A few months ago, I learnt a valuable lesson about asking for help. It dented my pride and initially made me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. I got to a place in my life, where I realised that unless I asked for help, things were going to unravel in a complicated spiral of events. I learnt that I am not a Superhero and that unless I asked for help, people would assume that all was okay in my life.
THREE OF THE HARDEST WORDS TO SAY
I used to believe that the hardest words to utter to someone else were “I am sorry!” However, I have changed my mind. I’m convinced that we live in a world where it’s increasingly difficult to say “I need help!”
This sad reality is quite ironic in many ways because we have more help at our fingertips than ever before, but somehow we reject the support available and stoically try to carry the world on our shoulders. That is until everything gets too much and we either ask for help or tragically turn to other devastating options.
THE STRUGGLES OF THE APOSTLE PAUL
I searched the Scriptures to see if there were men and women of faith, who also had to humble themselves and ask for help at some point. I was surprised at how many examples there are in the Bible. For example, Paul was very honest about his struggles, and we commend him for it, but we don’t practise the same vulnerability for some reason. Read what he wrote to the church in Rome about his struggles with sin:
“I obviously need help! I realise that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time” (Romans 7:18-20 The Message).
THE HONESTY OF DAVID
Another clear example is King David. When he put pen to paper with many of the Psalms, he was brutally honest about how he was feeling and these words have ended up being sung in congregations all over the world. Here is one example:
“But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay” (Psalm 70:5).
When we read Paul’s words in Romans and David’s honest struggles in the Psalms, it’s heart-warming for most of us to know that we are not alone. Suddenly we feel normal again! We feel that our struggles are not just ours because many legends of the faith experienced similar difficulties. And what is more, we seldom think less of these God-fearing disciples; we are encouraged to persevere and hold onto Jesus, despite how we may be feeling at the time.
DID JESUS NEED HELP?
The most intriguing illustration I found of being willing to asking for help came from Jesus. Yes, there was a time when even the Son of God acknowledged that he had a need. It happened in his preparations for the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus knew that he wanted to ride on a donkey and so instructed his disciples to go and get the donkey and her colt. Matthew records the incident like this:
“If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away” (Matthew 21:3).
It may seem tenuous, but Jesus acknowledged his need, and caring people in his community gave help.
ASK FOR HELP TODAY
So what is stopping us from doing the same? When you have a desperate need who do you turn to for help? I want to stress this point – we must swallow our pride and ask for help. There is no shame and indeed no sin, in admitting that you need someone to walk with you down the tough road you are facing.
I’m grateful for the people in my life who stood by and encouraged me over the years. May you be willing to courageously face the uncomfortable truth that you are not Superhuman and then find someone to confide in!
Call a friend and arrange a time for coffee.
Contact your church counsellor or a cell group leader.
Make an appointment with your Pastor or even with a Christian Psychologist.
Get in touch with Lifeline or another emergency care-centre.
Whatever you do, speak the words…. I need help!
May you also keep your eyes on Jesus, who knows you inside and out! Listen to the still small voice of the Spirit, as God cares for and allows you to receive healing in Jesus name. God’s willingness to respond to our plea for help is guaranteed. As Paul wrote:
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).