I hate asking for help.
Let me clarify: I have no problem asking my children to help around the house or giving not-so-subtle hints to my husband that he his free to come home early so I can have a break from parental responsibility for awhile.
But ask my friends to pray for me because I’m having a hard time? Ask them to take time out of their busy schedule to meet me for coffee so I can cry on their shoulder for a bit? Not really my cup of tea (or coffee). In fact, most of my friends attest that I know much about what is going on with them (I am a master question-asker), but they know hardly at all what is going on with me. When they find out later (because I’ll talk after I find resolution), they lament: Why didn’t you tell me about this? I could have ______________! And what they could have done (pray, help in tangible ways, etc) would probably have been amazing. And yet, I let my uncomfortableness in asking for help rob me of the relief God intended for me.
And apparently, not only am I stealing from myself, but I’m robbing my friends of something, too. I’m taking away a job Christ intended for them to have. A job not designed to usurp their time or drain their energy, but a job that will help fulfill their obedience to Christ. Did you know carrying each other’s burdens fulfills Christ’s law? And did you know that Christ’s law is love?
Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The Greek word for “burdens” here is “baros,” which is translated as “weight” or “hardship.” Truthfully, there are tremendously difficult things in this life that we are not designed to carry by ourselves and if we do, we will bring physical, emotional, and spiritual injury to ourselves. You wouldn’t try to pick up a two-ton boulder by yourself, but I am sure some of you have some issue in your life that feels just this heavy.
Are you letting someone else carry the weight? You weren’t made to do this by your own. And while, yes, Galatians 6:5 says we are to carry our own load, the word “load” is a completely different Greek word than the one found in verse 2. The Greek word for “load” is “phortion.” It is same word that Jesus uses in Matthew, when He says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Our own load we are to carry as signified by this verse is that which is in proportion to how God designed us. It is like a backpack that fits easily on our shoulders, not a crushing boulder that threatens to buckle our knees and crush our souls.
If you were to take a moment and evaluate what is sitting on your shoulders or in your heart right now, does it feel like a boulder or a backpack? Is your back breaking under tremendous weight or do you feel the freedom of being able to move as God intended you to?
If you’re breaking, it’s time to find someone to help shoulder the burden. And as fellow parents and sisters in Christ, God has designed us to do this for our friends. For you. You need not fear what you will share will be too much for us. We know that we don’t have to have the perfect words to soothe you. We know that we can’t solve your problem. Only God can do that and we are not Him. But we can listen. We can pray. We can offer our shoulder and maybe, even a hot beverage to drink.
Do you find it easy to let someone else in so they might help or are you the one who likes to do it all on her own?