Whenever someone offered to help me with anything, my automatic response used to be, “Oh, you’re so sweet! No, I’m good.” Whether the roots were pride or fear, my brain automatically Google translated any well-meaning “I’d love to help you with” offer into a negative criticism that sounded to me like: “I think you’re falling apart, and clearly, you’re failing at life.”
Once, I wrestled with a dear friend’s loving offer to help me move after prayer and many trusted voices affirmed that it was time for me and my near-adult children to move from our home. My warped Google-translate kicked in as my insecurities fired up. It didn’t take long for me to reply: “Thank you for offering, but I’m good. I can handle it.”
When a friend offers to help, is your knee-jerk reaction the same? What’s puzzling is that most of us love helping others, but we bristle at the thought of them offering to assist us. It’s wild how we can apply one set of beliefs about ourselves yet create a completely different set of beliefs for others in the same situation. How do we give ourselves permission to willingly and joyfully accept help whether we think we need it or not?
My spiritual breakthrough on this accepting-help issue was parked by a single question. As I packed up my children’s books and blankets, tears dripped on the cardboard boxes. I was worried about taking them away from the only home they’d ever known and grieving the circumstances that made our move necessary. Somewhere between stacking one box and preparing another, I heard a clear whisper fill the air around me: Barb, don’t you want your children to see the hands and feet of Jesus working around them on one of the most difficult days of their lives?
The aha moment came when I realized that God didn’t send my friend to help me with boxes and bedsprings. Instead, God was sending her to show my children and me divine signatures of His presence and His hope, which we needed more than a workforce for the move.
In Matthew 4, Jesus endures the trial of Satan’s temptation in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Put yourself in Jesus’ weary place. After that experience, the human side of Jesus would have been worn out. If accepting help is hard for you, the final verse of that ordeal offers a powerful insight that can reprogram your automatic response:
“The devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”
First, we can always cheer when the devil finally leaves us alone, right? However, the inspirational moment in this verse is seeing that the angels came to care for Jesus and that Jesus accepted their help. I can imagine them showing up with warm food, a soft blanket, and their compassionate presence. If Jesus were like me, He would have said, “No, thanks, I’m good” or “There are other people who need help more than me.” But He didn’t do that. Instead, Jesus allowed Himself to be ministered to by the angels. His divine nature wasn’t diminished by accepting help from others. Just as God sent those angels to minister to Jesus, today God sends people to minister to us as well.
What stands out to me is this: Jesus accepted help, so we can and should too.
Could Jesus have gotten Himself together on His own? Yes, but God lovingly sent the angels to minister to Jesus anyway. For all the times we pray and ask God for help, He often sends it through others. The hard part is letting down our guardrails of pride, fear, or embarrassment to receive it.
After my spiritual breakthrough moment and difficult move, I told God that I would say yes to any and all offers from friends over the next thirty days. I wanted to give God every opportunity to reprogram my automatic response and deprogram any lingering pride and fear about accepting help that remained in me. God honored that request and sent more friends to surround us with love and support during that rough time. While we had an experience that I prayed we wouldn’t go through, God sent others to minister to us each step of the way.
This article is by Barb Roose and is featured in Everyday Faith Magazine.
Did you know DaySpring has a magazine? It’s true! And the brand new SPRING issue of Everyday Faith just hit newsstands!
From cover to cover, you will find stories and articles to inspire hope, prompt reflection, and encourage you for the upcoming months. There are beautiful tear-out prayers to share cards, scannable QR codes for bonus goodies, and exclusive Spring Planning Calendars tucked inside!
You care about your faith — that’s why you’re here today! — and Everyday Faith magazine will help you know and share God’s love in fresh, true, and inspiring ways. Pick up your copy wherever magazines are sold and at DaySpring.com. This article is just one of many featured in Everyday Faith magazine, which, by the way, is perfect for reading on your lunch break, bringing to the school pickup line, or gifting to a friend.
And to help you do just that, we’re giving away FIVE sets of magazines — one for each winner and one for them to give to a friend! Leave a comment telling us to whom you’d gift a copy, and we’ll draw five winners.
The giveaway is open to US addresses only and will close on 3/17/23 at 11:59 pm central.
what a totally great perspective i’ve never even thought of! thank you so much for sharing it 🙂
I would give to my friend Rachel. We both need encouragement.
Andrea C says
This story is one many need to hear. I’m so guilty of not accepting help. I know Alison struggles with that too, so I’d share a copy with her!
Thanks for sharing this story and including a biblical example/perspective. Hard to argue the niceties of a story when Jesus models it too!
I would give a copy to my sister.
My sister is Liz- who I would give a copy of this to too!
Kathy McKinsey says
I’d love to share this with my friend Pam, whom I’ve known since first grade for 55 years.
Sharon A says
This is such a good reminder for everyone! It is hard to ask for help but I am getting better with age. Thanks for the reminder. I would give a copy to a dear friend.
I tend to push aside offers of help. But not long ago a friend told me accepting help was a gift to someone who offers that help. It allows them to love their neighbor. So, while I still may not eagerly accept offers, I do not push back as I used to. Of course, getting older and being widowed has made accepting God’s love from others much easier. It doesn’t make me weak.
Last night I wrote a note to look when the next issue of the magazine was coming out. I was afraid I missed it. What a wonderful surprise to see it is here!
I would love to read this magazine and give a copy to a dear friend.
Sherry Chatham says
Please enter me in the Everyday Faith magazine free giveaway. I would give the 2nd copy to a young couple & their 2 young daughters & after reading my copy, I would pass it along to bless someone else too! Thank you for lifting Our hearts & minds to focus on our Lord with your excellent resources! All God’s blessings, Sherry Chatham
5703 SW Foxcroft Cir N. Topeka KS 66614-4103.
Tina Lopez says
I would gift a copy to my daughter. She is a 2 nd grade teacher and an introvert by nature who recently stepped outside her comfort zone to start a small group at church for the young adults. I am so proud of her.
I would love to give a copy to my mom we are very similar in what we read during our quiet time and I know she would love this magazine. We’ve both been through many tough times where we have relied on our faith and relationships to get through.
I would love to gift a copy to my dear Jennifer. She has helped me as I navigate a very dark season of life right now as she is also going through her own struggles.
I would gift it to my 92 year old mom who is going through some health struggles.
I love this! I am learning to accept help. Sometimes people offer out of politeness and are surprised when I say yes! I would give a copy to my sister!
Becky L says
Good story to read. Always a good reason to accept help from a friend who cares about me and family. Helping another friend lately with dinner when brought over a gift. Making dinner and getting her baby daughter to quit crying isn’t easy. I helped with a pan of food before it was put in the oven. Less stressful for the mom.
Everyday magazine is good to read. I can give on to a friend of mine. I get mine at a store. I think having a subscription for it would work so I can’t always find in town.
I would give a copy to my (newer) friend, Amy. God answered my prayer and it would be such a cool thing to grow in our faith together.
Thanks for the opportunity to win these wonderful magazines. I already have this one, so I could give away both copies. I have several family members and coworkers that would love to read it. I’ll also pass mine along after I finish.
Donna Cross says
Thanks for sharing your story. It is so easy to forget that God uses those around us to be His hands and feet in our lives.
This devotion is so ME! I used to say no all.the.time. After an unexpected divorce and single parenting, I started to accept people’s help. It was good for my daughters to see the Body of Christ walking alongside us. Sometimes I think that’s God’s plan. The one offering and the one receiving are blessed.
Today, it is much easier for me to accept an invitation for help. When I planned my daughter’s college graduation party, I was thankful for my many sisters in Christ who helped me prepare the food/desserts and pickup/delivery.
Rachel Matteson says
Thanks so much for this giveaway! I’d live to share a copy with my friend, Katie.
I’d share the magazine with my daughter
Ruth Mills says
What a great easily overlooked point from those verses. Thanks for the encouragement, Barb!
Bev Rihtarchik says
I believe I learned my sense of self sufficiency from my parents. They were of the generation that just didn’t ask others for help — no matter how much they could have used it. For a LONG time, I practiced what had been modeled to me. I soon learned that “self sufficiency” was a euphemistic way of saying “pride.” If Jesus could use the gift of angels’ help and comfort, how much more can I?! I would gift a copy of the magazines to my mom (who still hesitates to ask anyone for help).
This makes me think of Miss Clara from the movie War Room when I believe she, “don’t steal my blessing” to Elizabeth when she refuses help. I’ve used that line before and it works. If I were to win the 2 copies, I know God would lay on my heart whom to share them with.
I really appreciated Barb’s message, as I often find it difficult to accept offers of help.
I would gift Every Day Faith magazine to my two sisters-in-law who are experiencing many changes in their lives, but remain models of faith.
Erica Miller says
I’d gift a copy to my friend Esther
Sharon Schroer says
Love this idea! I would share the magazine with the leader of my women’s bible study group. She is amazing!
What a timely article! Thank you! I would give one to my friend who recently lost her husband and is terrified of going through some surgery she needs this week, without him by her side.
Stacey E. says
I would give a copy to my sister. We would be very grateful to win these.
Nancy Natili says
I would give a copy of the magazine to my daughter in law that I consider my daughter. Her birthday is the 15th and her husband is being deployed to another country for 9 months and she really needs support.
I would give a copy to my mother.
I think she would really enjoy receiving a copy.
I’d love to share a copy of this magazine with my sweet friend Karen!
Belinda Graham says
I would gift my friend, Emily, with this subscription.
Emily and I have been best friends since 6th grade (55 years), have sustained our friendship through her countless moves to different states, and whom I consider my “soul friend”. When together we empty our hearts of pains and struggles, we fill each other with optimism for what is to come in our aging process. She walked with me through my journey of transitions over the last 7 yrs. since my husband’s death. We constantly share through email the many quotes and inspirational readings that touch our hearts and souls. This magazine would join us over the distance of miles……..each reading the same articles at the same time enabling us to discuss and share the wisdom of other’s walking this wonderful journey of life.
I would give to my friend/neighbor who I walk and pray with daily. My mom. Both have Birthdays the end of March. I love Everyday Faith Magazine and look forward to it Quarterly.
Cheryl Lentner says
I have two dear friends who like me have recently lost a loved one. I’m am comforted by this article and I know your magazine would bring comfort to them as well as me.
Barbara Fair says
I would give my extra set to my sister and my brother who are my best friends.
Faye Conner says
My very wise mother taught me this; when you help others, God blesses you. If you refuse help from others, you are robbing them of that same kind of blessing. Be gracious to them, you both will come away with renewed hope.
I would give a copy to my sister who would really appreciate it.
Beth Williams says
People, especially women, have a hard time accepting help. We feel we can do or handle it all by ourselves. That is simply pride rearing its ugly head. By saying no to offers of help we are robbing others of blessings & God’s love shown to us by/through that person.
I had some troubles last fall. Didn’t want to tell anyone. Then God got a hold of me. I began to tell some friends about my trials. They have & are still praying for me. They give me a sense of hope.
I would gift a copy to a friend.
I love your magazine!
I would share a copy with my daughter in law to enjoy.
she is in the last weeks of pregnancy with my first grandchild –
she deserves to rest and enjoy reading your magazine
Sharron Skipper says
I would love to give a copy to a dear friend who is grieving the loss of her husband.
Corey Elam says
I would love to be able to gift this to my sister, Erica. I read your devotionals every day and they are always so encouraging. Thank you!
I’d love to give one to my mother. She and I are both likely to not ask for help.
Rhonda Smith says
I would gift a copy to my daughter, Carolina, who God has been working on for a while now. She gave her life to Christ & will be baptized on April 23rd!
Pam Hodge says
It’s always hard for me to accept help also , even though I’m always ready to help others. I would give a copy to my friend Joanie Widmer.