Tuesday, March 16, 2010


In a moment of frustration, a dear friend recently declared: "I don't need help.  I don't want help.  If I wanted help, I'd ask for it!"

That sentiment troubled me deeply in the days that followed.  'What a foolish and arrogant way to live,' I thought.  But I give my friend the benefit of the doubt, and hope that those words came in the moment, and not from the heart. 

A high priority on our parenting list right now is that we sometimes see this mindset in our son.  He was having trouble finding an answer in school yesterday, and his frustration was mounting.  I was sitting right there, and I gently reminded him, with a question, of what we do when we are having trouble.  He buried his face in his hands and whined, "Ask-for-help-but I don't want help!  I want to do it myself."

Again, this is troubling to me.  We aren't designed to do everything on our own.  Before God could rest from his creation, he had to make a helper for man.  We need each other.  My guess is God designed us that way to help us realized something else:

We also need a Savior.  There is an eternity that follows this earth, and the only way we will spend it with God and not in torment is with the help of Jesus.  We can't do it alone.

Yesterday was a tough day around the house.  With one kiddo gone with his Dad all day, I had high hopes of getting a lot done.  But Tyler needed to be held a lot, and school took longer than it should have, and in the end, it seemed I had done even less than usual, not more, like I had wanted.  I went to bed frustrated, glad the day was over, and ready for a new one.

But this morning I was greeted by all the messes left from yesterday and immediately felt overwhelmed.  My wonderful husband, home on spring break, jumped in and started loading the dishwasher while I was getting dressed.  But did I feel grateful?  No!  I pouted as I dressed, and these exact words came into my head: "I don't want your help."

I stopped in my tracks.

I was stunned by my own thoughts.  It made no sense!  And earlier thoughts also began to echo in my head... "what a foolish and arrogant way to live."


I think there are many reasons why we might choose to go it alone... the pride and satisfaction of having accomplished things by ourselves comes to mind.  I know in my case this morning I felt I didn't deserve help.  I had made the messes, and I ought to dig out of them alone.

But where is grace in that mindset?

We don't deserve to be saved from the consequences of our sinful selves, either, but God doesn't keep score that way.  He loves us enough that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  And he loves us enough to help us through all the messes we make, by his Spirit, by his Word, and by the people he puts in our lives.

For whatever reasons, our nature is to resist accepting that help.  I know I've been humbled this morning to accept the help given, and be thankful for it!


Anonymous said...

Very Beautiful Amy. I think, as Moms, we are so used to Giving Help, that Needing (even worse, Asking) for Help seems like we're giving up. But, you're right, God gave us each other for many reasons, and I think Blessing and Helping one another was at the top of His List.
When we were at Chick Fil A a few weeks ago, there was a young Mom there with her 2 Little Children. The oldest spilled Milk Everywhere. Feeling Her Pain, I immediately started to help, and then Brian did as well...it was Obvious she did not want us to Help. It was strange. We even talked about it later that night. Why?

Cindy said...

To me, saying "I do not want help" is not necessarily arrogance. It can be many things. My mother raised me to be very dependent on her because she did not want to lose me. As a result of that, she eventually lost me completely for a time. I totally rebelled. I became a force to reckon with and as a result my motto was 'no one will ever tell me what to do again'. I became the master of my universe as much as possible. In reality, no one is completely master of their universe as you said. But some of us just like to 'think' we are. LOL!

Amy said...

Cindy, I think you make a good point:

The source of our help must be considered. Help offered in love (love is not self-seeking) and Godly wisdom is usually worth accepting.

Cindy said...

Amy, you are very wise. You really are. Even the head strong like myself know when to give up and ask for help. I bet your little guy will eventually reach a point when he will ask for help too. He just hasn't reached that point yet. He will surprise you one of these days. It takes some of us a long time!