Have you ever done something by yourself and then thought, “I should have asked for help?”
I have. And more times than I’d like to admit.
A few weeks ago I was killin’ it with some good old fashioned yard work. This is an easy win for me since I’m not the “handy” type. I mowed the grass and then started edging the driveway with the weed trimmer. Suddenly, the spool that holds the string shoots off into the atmosphere, lands on the street, rolls down the hill, and disappears into a street grate.
Determined to get the job done, I managed to lean the heavy grate against the curb, crawl down into the sewer, and retrieve the spool. However, upon putting the grate back into its proper place, gravity took over and all 15o pounds of it started to fall into the hole. And it took my hand with it!
Amazingly, I was able to free my hand and avoid serious injury, but I blacked out from the sheer pain.
Later on after “coming to,” I get this question from Lyndsay: Why didn’t you ask for help?
Maybe you haven’t had to call the city to have them retrieve a street grate at the bottom of the sewer because you got your hand stuck in it while attempting to retrieve a lousy weed trimmer spool that you could have replaced for $5 at Lowe’s.
But we’ve all been there right? Call it stubborn or prideful or controlling or hard-headed. And maybe it’s the individualistic society we live in that says, “I can do it. I got this. I’m flying solo. I’m going alone.” After all, it’s a sign of weakness to ask for help isn’t it?
Not so fast.
What if I told you we are actually stronger when we ask for help? What if I told you we can accomplish more and reach our greatest potential when we ask for help?
The truth is even Jesus asked for help. Yes, God in flesh and the Creator of the universe invited twelve guys to give Him a hand. We pick it up in Mark 3:13, “He climbed a mountain and invited those he wanted with him. They climbed together. He settled on twelve, and designated them apostles. The plan was that they would be with him, and he would send them out.”
Like Jesus, we are all climbing a mountain. Call it being a Mom or Dad or student or financial provider or athlete. Maybe our mountain is a dream or goal we are pursuing. Maybe it’s a physical or emotional limitation. The question becomes: Are we climbing alone?
Now we may have people around us who know about what we’re doing. But have we invited people to climb with us? People who can pray and encourage and inspire and challenge and help carry our burden?
When Lyndsay and I experienced multiple miscarriages, we tried to go alone at first. But we soon realized the weight on our back was too heavy. When we invited others to be with us, we were able to grow in our relationship with God, each other, and with our friends. We were able to pray more and laugh more and walk with peace knowing God had a plan.
And by the way, Jesus’ mountain to climb was steeper and more treacherous and much darker than anything we will ever face. The Devil attacked Him everyday in every way. He was misunderstood and ridiculed and mocked and spat on. He was betrayed and beaten and tortured. He was wrongly convicted and abandoned and left for dead.
But because He invited others to climb with Him, He was able to fulfill the mission God had assigned Him. To set the captives free. To heal and love and forgive us of our sins. To live in our hearts forever. Could He have done all this by Himself? Probably. But He knew that in order for His message to carry on forever He needed to invite others to be with Him. To be message bearers of the Good News!
Is there an area in your life where you’re going alone? Who can you invite to climb with you?
Remember these three truths this week:
Don’t go alone.
You are better with others.
God wants to use you.