Bearing One Another’s Burdens

Sometimes I need help. Sometimes you need help. Sometimes we all need help. I wrote a bit about bearing one another’s burdens at WORLDMag.com today.

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Three days ago I lost my wisdom in the form of two impacted lower teeth that had to be surgically removed. Suffice it to say, it was not a procedure I was looking forward to, nor has the recovery been all that much fun either.

It never ceases to amaze me that it takes a forced event like this to make me really relax. I’ve napped more this week than I have in my past 36 years. I’ve watched movies with my family without simultaneously attempting to multitask. I’ve asked for help.

That could be the big one, after all—asking for help. It isn’t that easy to do. Asking for help implies a certain weakness and the inability to do something for yourself.

My family has been super-great about anticipating needs and responding to requests, and I’m trying not to take advantage of that to an extreme (though I will confess to getting used to the concept of ice cream on demand).

But I do wonder why, after all, is it so difficult to involve the very people who love me best in caring for me in a way that loves me best? Why am I so hesitant to allow this to happen? Why does it take surgery (albeit, minor) to allow it to happen at all?

Recently I received an email from a friend who is about seven months pregnant with her fourth child. Her husband is currently going through training for the Navy chaplaincy program and has been gone for several weeks. To top it off, my friend hasn’t been sleeping well either. In a moment of desperation, she emailed some friends and confessed her need for help. She confessed she was tired, lonely, overwhelmed. Her floor needed swept. She needed her friends to be family for her.

I was out of town when I got her email, so sadly there wasn’t anything I could do for her except one thing: I could affirm her decision to seek help.

Asking for help isn’t an easy thing to do. It means giving our pride a little beating and admitting we can’t do everything we thought we could. I was proud of her for admitting that and seeking help in her weakness.

I know for a fact that if someone asks me for help, I’m more than willing to give it (often I don’t know there is a need until someone makes it known). I’m seeing now that the reverse is often also true: I need to make my needs known to receive help from others, because others often don’t know there’s a need.

Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Sometimes we all need a helping hand . . . the hard part is learning how to ask for one.

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One thought on “Bearing One Another’s Burdens

  1. martha brady says:

    I loved this entry. It is along lines of one I wrote today. I know, irrelevant. I will say that I never considered this issue to be one of pride until I had a series of seizures a few years ago that resulted in my not being allowed to drive for four (long) years. It was agony to my poor independent soul. I realized that pride was involved for me when I had many offers from people to drive me places and I didn’t want to call and arrange it ahead of time. Yes, it was inconvenient, but the bottom line was that i HATED to ask for help when I was in a position that I couldn’t reciprocate. I learned a lot about grace in those weeks and months. I also learned to love people in ways I never had during the years we had worked with them in our church. Something happens when people can minister to their pastors and families in meaningful ways that I still don’t understand. I just know that bonds were formed in that four year period that had not developed in the 12 years prior. The sad thing is that I thought I had been vulnerable and open before that time!

    Like

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