“When I was younger so much younger than today, I never needed anybody’s help in any way, And now these days are gone I’m not so self-assured, Now I find, I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors… “(The Beatles)
It is so hard to ask for help when we want to seem independent and self-sufficient, it even affects the way we pray. You might wonder, “How do I ask God for what I need without seeming to beg, or whine?” or “Shouldn’t I be more grateful for what I already have?” As hard as it is and as much as you don’t want to do it, there are times that we do need help and other times that we need to learn how and when to give help without seeming to be condescending.
I was praying for myself one time and truthfully feeling a little sorry for myself I guess. I told God I was ready to come out of the grave, ready for my resurrection, I wanted a new life and I wanted it “now”. While I waited for my light bulb revelation, I simply heard a scripture in my spirit; I opened my Bible to it and oh joy, I was so happy; it was the story of Lazarus! I felt that God had heard me and I was going to “come out”, life was going to get better! But then I heard “Stop, that’s not the part of the story I wanted you to read,” “OK Lord, what is it?” “Read on”, the verse He wanted me to see suddenly stood out, 11:44 “And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave-clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth.” Jesus told his friends, “Unwrap him and let him go!” My heart sank, “Oh NO, Lord, don’t make me have to get help from my friends!” Then re-reading the story I realized that Jesus called this man forth from death, why didn’t he come out delivered of his grave-clothes? When He delivered the demoniac Mark 5:15 “They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man.”
We see that Jesus clothed that man so why didn’t he take the grave clothes off Lazarus? He asked his friends to do it for him. I had to learn to let someone else pray for me, to become vulnerable to those who could offer advice, and that was not easy for me to do. The Psalmist King asked for help many times! Psalm 22:11 “Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.” Psalm 70:1 “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; Make haste to help me, O Lord”
Soon after I had the “Lazarus Revelation” my paternal grandfather called me, “I have a word for you granddaughter,” he said, I was thrilled, I was going to hear a prophecy for my life! He then quoted Psalm 23:4 “Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” He told me that the “rod” was the Word of God, the correction and admonition, the path for my life, but that the “staff” represented friends, which I needed to lean on, the way the shepherd leaned on it to rest. I guess if you are too hard headed for God to get the message to you one way, He tries a different way.
I went from the Beatles saying, “Help! I need somebody” to Bill Withers singing “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on…” All that is good, but when push comes to shove, “No one ever cared for me like Jesus, there’s no other friend so kind as He, no one else could take the sin and darkness from me, oh how much He cares for me.”
Friends, whether you like it or not, are here to help one another, so remember the words of a song by Diana Ross which say, “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can!” And I say, “Yes we can!”