What Will It Take?

From Charlie Macksey’s “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse”

The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize I default to personal sustainability. I hate to ask for help, not because I think I can do it all, but because I hate putting others out.

Part of that is my story. Mom would tell us to fulfill all obligations and never owe anyone. Whether it was a kindness done or something given, make sure I do in kind so I’m not beholding to anyone.

That translates to not asking for help, even when I need it.

We recently bought a fake tree with the after-Christmas sales. I weakened. I’ve always been the holdout for the real thing, but the expense of cut pines and the poor condition of them cut weeks earlier up north and shipped to Florida has made this unfeasible. John was delighted–it’s taking me longer to acclimate to our new reality.

But, a deal is a deal.

It was delivered to the house while John was out of town. Heavy and blocking the entrance to the house.

Not to be undone by the size and weight of the box, I tried for quite a while to drag it through the front door. I could manage one end, but the other wouldn’t budge. When I tried the other end, the same issue happened.

I can only imagine how ridiculous I looked trying to single-handledly haul this box indoors.

My neighbor came by, dropping off something that had been delivered to her home by mistake, so we chatted a bit. After a few minutes, she stared at the box, then back at me, and asked, “Do you want me to help you bring it in?”

I was grateful for her help. It was still heavy, but the two of us managed to get it into the house. Without wrenched backs.

I love Charlie Macksey’s picture of the boy and his friends. His inquiry as to the bravest thing the horse has ever said hit home. It takes bravery to ask for help; not fearing others will think less of me but being willing to show my need.

Culturally, neediness isn’t appealing.

We are human. We will always be needy.

Self-sufficiency often makes me hesitate to turn to God for help, even though I’m confident He’s there and will provide the strength I need to do what needs to be done. Pride often keeps me from owning my needs, from accepting that I require help from Him or others.

Pride is a huge stumbling block that I consistently trip over.

God knows my limitations and offers His help no matter what my attitude is in the present.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear…” Psalm 46:1-2a

God is my sanctuary, my safe harbor, my ever-present help when life gets dark and hard.

His love perseveres, even through my pride and self-sufficiency.

It does take bravery to ask for help. To recognize that in our weakness He alone can make us stronger.

Maybe we need to redefine bravery.

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