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God Waits to Help Us in Many Ways
Many of us have spent a lifetime of self-sufficiency. We have felt that we needed to be strong. Some of us in the church have even developed a notion that doubt or weakness demonstrated a lack of faith. At times, some of us might well have sung a hymn like this: "My hope is in myself and my ability to do anything."
Confidence like that, at times, can be a good thing. Creativity springs from it. Nations are built upon it. Strong societies are made of self-reliant, creative folks like this.
But a life lived only in self-reliance seems also contrary to Christian teaching. And it is a very unhealthy way to live. We all need help - - from God and from each other. No man is an island, even though we often live so. A life lived only in self-reliance can become a lonely and fearful existence. The strong know they can be weak and afraid. Even they know they have limitations, and yet hesitate to face them.
As we become older some of these limitations can become much more evident. A life lived with loved ones can suddenly become a solitary one. Spectacular health may begin to show signs of wear. Finances may grow thin, and we fear for our ability to make ends meet. We who have been accustomed to being the shepherd in the lives of many around us begin to wonder what is happening to us. We who have met the needs of ourselves and others may begin to feel needy.
And yet many refuse to tell anyone how we are feeling. These feelings are normal, but a lifetime of self-reliance keeps us quiet, and alone, and afraid.
Last year my wife was in the hospital. While visiting her I experienced a severely painful locking of one knee. After a visit to the emergency room, I was helped to my car for the trip home. The hospital called in a prescription to relieve my problem. I picked it up on the way home at a drive-thru pharmacy window. When I arrived home I looked at my front door and the steps up to it. My knee would tolerate NO weight. My only choice was to crawl from the car seat to the ground, and drag myself up the steps and into the house. My pants caught on the corner of the storm door, and pulled completely off as I crawled forward. After making it to the refrigerator for liquid to take my medication, I realized that the pharmacy had given me the wrong medication. Nothing to help me with my problem. Lying on my back on the kitchen floor, in my underwear, I do not remember ever being that helpless, and feeling so alone. I prayed for help.
After a phone call, the pharmacy agreed to deliver what I needed. At that same time our pastor was visiting my wife at the hospital. She told him about my predicament. I received a call asking me if I could make my meals. No. They did. We have a "parish nurse". She called to assess my total needs, and subsequently helped to meet them. My knee improved. And from it all I had a taste of my own need to rely on the help of God and others.
What need or fear do you have today? Sharing it with God, and others, will lighten the load. Not a member of a church? Call one anyway. Share your needs or fears. God is waiting to help you through them. Sometimes we are the shepherd, and sometimes we truly need to be the sheep. If you are unable to find local help, contact SeniorArk, and we will find help for whatever concerns you today.
"Savior, like a Shepherd lead us" 1832
Savior like a Shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care.
In thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Father, You know our every need
before we speak. Help us to ask when we need. In the name of