Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When I Need to Need - Devotional - May 21, 2014

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:2

“How do you feel?” my friend asked.

I paused and took a deep breath.  It’s been a while since I’ve taken one of those lung-filling, chest-expanding, yoga-style breaths.

I smiled.  “Like a huge weight has been lifted.,” I replied.

I went on to describe the many hands that had done the lifting, both physically and spiritually, over the last several days.

In the moments that surrounded my abrupt move, I got to witness the miraculous. Hand after hand, generously coming along side me and carrying my load.  Family, friends, and even strangers all stepped in to do what I couldn’t. 

As I observed the flurry of people and compassion, and reflected on the unfortunate circumstance that led me to a place of depending on these “helping hands” I realized something.

As uncomfortable as it was – I needed this. 

I needed to reach a point where I could admit that there are things that I am unfit to carry.

I needed to be on the other side of “need”.

There is no shame in “needing”.  In the process of my need, I got the opportunity to see God reach down to me through others and love me. 

So many times we (okay, I) try to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. 

“I can figure it out.”
“I have it under control.”

But we don’t “have it”.  And, in these “need-a-phobe” moments, we attempt to carry a load so heavy it can destroy us.  As I watched my massive furniture being carried down the stairs by others, I was very much aware of my own limitations and thankful for the abilities of others. 

We all have our areas of strength and need.

Depending on the translation, there are anywhere between 38 and 100 verses in the Bible that use “one another”.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. – Hebrews 10:24
love one another. – 1 John 3:11

What that tells us is, within the family of God, we are designed to rely on one another.

For those who pride themselves on being independent, problem-solvers, or having it all together, that can be a hard pill to swallow.  But let me give you some reassurance…..

Even Christ needed help.

On the road to his crucifixion, Jesus collapsed under the weight of the cross.  A man named Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry the cross for Jesus (Luke 23:26). Had it not been for this man, Jesus (still in human form) may have very well died along the road before he made it to Calvary.  It was this help that allowed him to complete his mission.

At this very rocky part of my journey, I’ve learned about my own brokenness – self-reliance.

I staggered along stubbornly until I began to collapse under the weight and burden of my circumstances. 

But here’s the beautiful part. The moment I reached out and “cast [my] cares upon Him”, He sent tangible hands into my life to sustain me (Psalm 55:22).  This verse in Psalm goes on to assure us “He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Do you know how to rely on God?
Do you know how to need?
Are you trying to carry loads you’re unfit to carry?

My friend, there is freedom in depending on God.

There is beauty in allowing others to be your Simon.

So, stop carrying that burden.  It's slowing you down.  

Hand over your need...and watch God do the miraculous.

Thank you to my miracle workers this past week who stepped in and carried my burden in such tangible ways.  You were my cross-bearers: Mom, Kevin, Aunt Dina, Bura, Michael (Sr. and Jr.), Andy, Jay, Cork (& family), Jackie, Brian, and Jennifer.

Let's pray:  Father God, it tells me in Your word, in Matthew 11:30, that Your "burden is light".   I know that You are the all-powerful God.  There is nothing too hard for You.  At times I forget HOW to rely on You.  But, I cast out the independent spirit that would hinder me from full reliance on You and cause me to lean on my own understanding.  I thank You for Your strength being made perfect in my weakness.  Give me the confidence to embrace the vulnerability that comes with trusting in You.  When I need to lean on others, give me discernment on who those people are that can carry my burden with me.  And as they do, I ask that You bless them abundantly for the seeds of love and compassion they sow into my life.   And even in the "meantimes" while I wait for Your help to come, I thank You for the rest and peace that comes with casting all my cares, anxieties, and worries on You, because I know that You care for me: even more than I care for myself.  Amen.

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