“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”(Matthew 7:7)(NIV)
You don’t have to be a caregiver to find yourself believing Lie Number 3, you just have to have limited financial resources and a personal preference not to ask for help.
Lie #3: IF I CAN’T DO IT MYSELF THEN IT WON’T EVER GET DONE
When just getting through everyday life is more than you can handle anything “extra” tends to get pushed to the side until it becomes an emergency. I’ve wanted to repaint my kitchen for years and I doubt that it will ever become an emergency. But at least someday, if I find the time, I can do it. What I am talking about with Lie Number 3 is more like the overhead light in my living room that hangs by wires without a fixture. I can’t put up a fixture over it, I have tried. The wires just aren’t long enough to allow me to do it. It will have to be rewired. I don’t have the knowledge to do that safely.
Or the items of furniture in my garage, there is a broken treadmill, an old rocker recliner, a few other things. They need to go to the dump. I cannot load them into a truck and take them. It is physically impossible for me. They were put in the garage years ago as a temporary measure because they had to come out of the house and there they sit.
For a year or two, I tried to remind my helpers that all that stuff still needed to be hauled away. There never seemed to be a convenient time. I finally quit asking and just learned to live with my redneck looking garage. When the garbage service quit picking up boxes I embraced it.
(This is an actual picture of my garage.)
I can’t fix some things. I often refuse to ask for help. And so I find a way to live with the problem. It is my choice to do so, but in my moments of frustration, I tell myself it will always be this way. Because, after all, IF I CAN’T DO IT MYSELF IT WILL NEVER GET DONE.
So, I stew over the situation, feeling that I mustn’t ask for too much help or ask too often, feeling that I need to store up the good will of my helpers for when I have a real problem that can’t wait, like a broken water heater or a leaking roof. My heart hardens and my jaw clenches. About that time Lie 1 and Lie 2 chime in to remind me that I AM ALONE and NO ONE UNDERSTANDS MY REALITY.
By that point, I am angry and full of self-pity. I have marched myself right into a pit. This kind of thinking is a waste of time, it accomplishes nothing in advancing me toward what I need (help), and it makes me feel miserable. I have done this a few times, maybe a few hundred.
I have found a way to save myself from repeating this useless little saga. You don’t have to look around you at all the things that need to be done feeling helpless and hopeless. IF I CAN’T DO IT MYSELF THEN IT WON’T EVER GET DONE is a lie, and, like most lies, it can feel true. But it is not the truth and you shouldn’t believe it. Here are some ways to break free:
1. Swallow your pride and ask for help.
This may sound easy to some but to me it sounds hard. It means first I have to admit to myself that I need help and then it means exposing that need to others who may or may not respond the way I hope they do. It makes me vulnerable. I have this idea in my head that I have no right to impose my needs on others. I have another idea that the goodwill of the people who do care enough to help me is finite, so if I ask for too much or ask too often they will not be there to help me in a real emergency.
It is important to remember there is a difference between asking for help and demanding/guilt tripping/emotionally blackmailing someone to help you. A straightforward request for help is the best. If the person you ask is unwilling or unable to help you that’s okay. Just move on to the next one. Exposing your need to others provides them with an opportunity to minister to you. It provides people with a way to demonstrate their love for you. It provides people with a chance to perform some good works.
Think about someone you care about, what would you be willing to do help them or to make their life easier? Now imagine them feeling the same way about you. If you don’t ask they may never even realize you need help.
2. Pray for help
This one is a bit easier for me. Asking God for favor with someone who can help me. Asking God to send me the right person to ask at the right time. But trusting that God is working on my behalf to provide for my needs while I wait is still hard. I am not a good waiter. (I am also a horrible waitress but that is a story for another time.)
3. Remember God Himself is your true Help
“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is among them that uphold my soul.” (Psalm 54:4)(Darby Bible Translation)
All the help that finds its way to you is from the Lord. He is our helper and our provider. See below:
Jehovah Ezer is one of His names. Helping us is who He IS. He wants us to come to Him for help. We can never ask too often. We can never ask for too much. He will never turn away from our cry. His resources and His love for us are without limit. And sometimes I need to be reminded of the red-letter section of Matthew below:
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts a to those who ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11)(NIV)
Now, we know in life that you don’t necessarily get everything you ask for, find everything you seek, or have every door you knock on opened. But please remember that if you never ask, seek or knock you can never receive, find or walk through the door. The result is better if you ask. And, if it is important to you, don’t stop asking!
“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God or respected men. And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or respect men, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests.’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to the words of the unjust judge. Will not the God bring about justice for his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he continue to defer their help?” (Luke 18:2-7)(Berean Study Bible)
God will not continue to defer your help forever. Keep asking and keep expecting your help to come!