“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith. . . ” (1 Thessalonians 3:2)
Help. Such a simple word, but it brings about many feelings and attitudes from within, many of which are not entirely favorable, especially when you are chronically ill.
Our feelings can run the gamut from gratefulness to guilt, from frustration to humility. How, how are we to deal with this in a positive way, to accept help and assistance with grace, and not the guilt that we often feel when we have to ask for it?
One way is to realize we are in good company. Paul, when he was unable to go himself to the church in Thessalonica, sent Timothy to “strengthen and encourage” them. Shouldn’t we look at this also as God himself utilizing others to be His hands and feet, just as he uses us?
And what about Timothy? He chose to be obedient to God’s call, not only to serve God but to serve both Paul and the Thessalonians.
Just as when God calls an individual to assist us, be it family, friend, or acquaintance, that person is being used directly by God to be His helper, to answer our prayer–even if it is not exactly the way we would prefer it! Perhaps God’s call on your life requires many tasks and duties, things that now with illness or caring for someone who is ill, is more that you can deal with–you need help!
When Moses was called to be the leader of God’s nation he too had many duties. His tasks were never-ending, and when his father-in-law came to visit he encouraged him to utilize others to relieve some of the burden from his own shoulders. (Exodus 18:17-23) In the end Moses did so. He was still doing as God desired, yet the burden was not as heavy.
We also can see that even Jesus, though he was God, in human form, one which could do all things. He chose to call men of every background and intellectual level, to be His disciples, His friends, His helpers. Why? Perhaps to show us that it is through the unified body that He is able to serve and be served; that God produces the best and most delicious fruit through the generosity, humility and grace of those who are willing to accept his gift of love–His Help!
Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I hold you by your right hand, I the Lord your God. And I say to you, don’t be afraid, I am here to help you.”
Prayer: Father, Forgive me for not recognizing when You so generously send someone to help me and I, in my pride or feelings of guilt, choose to not accept it as I should. Help each of us, Lord, to be truly humble, accepting the assistance You so graciously give to us, and to be ever grateful for Your provision. May You also bless those who so lovingly offer that help and are allowing themselves to be used by You. Amen.
About the author
Diane Kalata lives in Florida. She has three grown children, and a wonderful husband who offers much support. She enjoys leading a women’s bible study group as well as a chronic pain and illness support group. She enjoys art as well. She is a colon cancer survivor; she has chronic irritable bowl and fibromyalgia other issues. But her hope is in the Lord who will renew her strength.
Do you recall a time when you accepted help (even reluctantly) and it was a blessing you? Was it also a blessing to the helper?
We try so hard to earn grace, to pay back those who help us out. We worry about asking for help because we wonder if we can pay it back. But that is not what it’s all about. “By Your Side” by Tenth Avenue North is a beautiful song that reminds us that we are given grace. -Lisa