And yet, so often I try.
I rely on Jesus, sure, but I don’t want to bother other people.
I think I wrote a post back before the blog crash of 2013 about why it’s ok to have needs without being needy. I guess this is that same sort of theme.
This weekend, there was some crazy stuff going on. I am actually not even typing this from my room. The Lord is humbling me yet again to ask for help and prayers. And while I may (with Jesus, of course), be the only one standing in the middle of the situation, there are so many around me who want to help.
How much harder is running a race by yourself?
And yes, sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes Jesus asks us to do a couple miles with just Him for a season. But there is nothing better than rounding the bend and seeing a whole crowd cheering you on, praying for you, offering to serve and encourage you in any way they can.
I am so bad at asking for help. But then there is faithfulness and grace of the Lord.
I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 3-4. The Lord calls Paul out of Thessalonica and he sends Timothy, “to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions. . .” (3:2-3, NASB). But even though Paul can’t be there, they pray night and day to see their faces and that the people may increase in faith.
“and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” 3:12-13
And chapter 4 concludes with, “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
I’ve been so grateful for the Scripture and comfort others have given me recently.
I’m never alone because of the nearness of Christ. Which is so glorious and beautiful and the state of my dependancy. But I’m also preceded by the saints whose legacies have paved the road on which I run. I’m underservingly joined by some amazing follow race-runners. Who send me letters and texts when they seem to know I need it. Who open their rooms and hearts for my life and the works of the Lord. Who are just there.
And when I think about the people behind me, those watching me on this race, I am scared to think that they would see someone who does not know how to lean on others. Someone who doesn’t walk in all that Jesus wants to do by keeping the burdens to herself.
This isn’t about my fear of looking needy. Or being the kind of person I write in my journal who requires “extra grace.” This is about me living in the sufficiency of Christ and recognizing the people who are running next to me. This is about doing messy life together, with all it’s laughter, tears, and hope.
This is about my humility.
You would think I’ve learned my lesson by now. Having needs and sharing them with others does not make me needy. It makes me more like Christ and His apostles. It makes me like Paul and Timothy and the Thessalonians. It reminds me of the eternal communion I will have with Christ and all the saints in eternity.
But then again, this isn’t even about me at all.
It’s about the glory of Christ in all things.
I only know what Jesus is doing in me. What I’m believing for in others. I have no idea how He’s actually moving, in those directly and indirectly involved. I don’t know what He is ordaining for 10 years down the road. His glory is His prerogative. I’m just called to obedience, whether it makes sense or not. And whatever that obedience is just a drop in the ocean of His sovereignty and redeeming plans.
So, all of that to say, thank you to those who are running the race with me right now. You know who you are. From the sidelines or right along the road. I can’t even express my gratitude for how well you love me. Your prayers have been more impactful and mean more than you’ll know this side of Heaven. I am honored to do life with you. But really.
And when Jesus teaches you humility, don’t forget that He’s also doing a work in others. A very small part may be about you embracing the generosity and service of others, but there is so much more going on. . .in the hearts of others and in heavenly realms, that we’ll never know.
And that’s just the glorious, loving, sovereign, VICTORIOUS God we serve. To Him be all the praise forever.
Because, at the end of the day, when all my fellow race-runners have faded away, I will stand alone before my Bridegroom. To hear in humility, by His sustaining power and grace, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).