Miscellaneous

Not By Myself (31 Days of Balance – Day 16)

It’s easily one of the hardest things you could ask me to do.  I would do a million other things – likely destroying myself in the process – before I could take the plunge and do it.  No matter how long I think about it, I cannot develop a scenario in my mind that plays out well.

I want to instill its importance in my daughter, but I struggle to demonstrate it for her in real ways.  I know I should do it.  I feel in my heart that it would help me in a million ways…but I can’t bring myself to do it.

I get so frustrated with other people who refuse to do it, but then I look at myself and realize I’m no different than they are.  I’ve stubbornly dug in my own heels, too.

Doing it is essential, but it’s also directly contrary to one of my values.  How could I do it?

Asking for help.  It’s so hard for me.  I don’t know how this began for me, but if I continue in the way I have always gone, it certainly will not end up well.

I absolutely cannot ask for help.  Asking for help with something implies that I am unable, in some way, to do something.  Saying I need help puts me in a position of vulnerability – of  needing someone else for something I cannot do or provide myself.  It requires a lowering of my defenses that I have worked very hard to put up in the first place, thankyouverymuch.

But.

But trying to do it all myself doesn’t always work out so well for me.  I end up tired.  Exhausted.  Completely spent.  Worse than that, I begin to resent the people I’m likely doing it all for in the first place.  I get stressed, which makes me take it out on the people I love, and then I feel bad, so I can’t focus on what I need to do, so I get stressed…. ad nauseum.

But stubbornly pushing through, trying to carry every burden on my own, is not the way God intended me to live.  Jesus Himself said to cast my burdens on Him.  He said to take up His yoke, for it is easy and light.  He said He wants to help me carry it all for me.

But not allowing someone to help me might keep them from fulfilling the purpose God has for them today…or for their lives.  God might be asking someone else to do something to help me.  He might be leading them in real ways to step into my life and help me…but my refusal to let them do it is keeping them from the blessing of obedience and service.  Who am I to do that?

But resisting help is prideful, ultimately saying I am bigger and better and know more than anyone else….including God.  It’s a way of saying, “I know, God.  But I’ve got this,” even when He knows perfectly well that I do not.

And cast all your cares on God, for he takes care of you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

Scripture pounds into our heads the idea of community and humility and loving one another.  We were created for community, and real community is there when we need help.  That help might be something small or it might be something huge.  Regardless, God places people in our lives to help us.  It’s to build us up and heighten our experience of life.  Christ called people around himself constantly, even asking His friends to come alongside Him in His hour of deepest, greatest, most painful need.

Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and he began to be very sad and troubled.  He said to them, “My heart is full of sorrow, to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.” (Matthew 26:36-38)

I see that – we all see that – and yet we all still have this lonesome cowboy approach to living.  I can do this.  I’ll handle it myself.  I’ve got this.

But friends, I can’t handle all of this myself….whatever today’s “all of this” is.  I need you.  I dare say that you need me – or someone – too.

We have to strip away the pride and recognize that we are not god of our own lives.  We were not made to carry all of this by ourselves.  It’s all too heavy, and with it all weighing on us alone we will never, ever be balanced.

This is part of a 31-day series on balanced living. Click here to read the introduction to this series, and click here to read all of the posts.

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