I did a not-so-smart thing at the gym recently. While setting up to use the diverging seated row machine (for back exercises), I discovered that it was impossible to move the pin to the weight I needed it to go to because the cord was hung under 50 pounds of pressure. I knew what I should do: ask for help from one of the employees.
**But I wanted to figure it out myself. **
Soon I had the cord free from fifty pounds of pressure, but guess what? Now my right hand was caught under fifty pounds of pressure!I really needed help, but was I going to holler across the gym, “Help, I’m stuck in a machine?!!!” No way! So I pulled my hand out. It was painful. It still is. One finger in particular got bruised and bloodied, but I’m OK.
To be honest, the thing I was most worried about while experiencing my hand stuck under fifty pounds was not “Will my hand be OK?” What I was really asking myself was “Does anybody see me?” The gym, whether anyone means it to be or not, is a very image-driven place. It’s where all the fit guys go to get more fit, which makes less-than-fit women like me feel even more self-conscious. To ask for help would be admitting even more weakness than I felt was already glaringly visible. But refusing to ask for help caused me pain.
Sadly, it’s often like this in the Christian life. I go to church and see people whose lives seem perfectly fit compared to my out of shape one, and I’m afraid to ask for help.
But God never intended it to be that way. He intends for us to ask for help from the right people, and most of all from him. I am reading through Genesis right now, and some scenes which stand out to me are when Abraham, and later Isaac, both go to other lands for refuge from famines. First Abraham goes to Egypt and tells the Pharoah that Sarah is his sister (chapter 12). Later, Isaac does the same to the Philistines of Gerar with Rebekah (chapter 26). They did what I did at the gym — they relied on their own devices to save their skins. I wonder how much more blessed they would have been if they had gone to God for help and trusted in him for guidance. As Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, he can be trusted.
Father, Thank you that you are not a God who is distant and uncaring, but one who invites us to come to you with every need. Help us to remember your promises when we are tempted to handle our problems on our own without asking for help. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Throughout This Day: Practice asking God and others for help when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or in need.
Photo Credit: Chichi Onyekanne on Unsplash