A Necessary Dependency

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him a helper fit for him.””
(Genesis 2:18)

I’ve not been very strong lately; and yet I’ve found it takes strength to admit that.

I like to think I’m strong, that I can stand on my own two feet, but over the last few weeks I’ve proven that sometimes that just isn’t possible.  Busyness, pressure, commitments, obligations, desires – they all pull in different directions, so that I’m left feeling “stretched, like butter over too much bread.”

I’ve come to the point where I’ve learned I have to ask for help, and yet I feel bad doing it.  Why is that?  Why do we think it is a sign of weakness if we fall to a point where we need someone else’s help, if we cannot make it on our own?  Why have we glorified the notion of independence and self-reliance to the point that it is actually more noble to suffer and grow bitter than to admit your limitations and ask for help?

This certainly isn’t Biblical.

One of the first things we learn in Scripture is that we were made to depend on someone else.  Through the Creation story in the first chapter of Genesis, God creates, sees His handiwork, then declares it good.  But as early as chapter 2 of Genesis we find something that is not good.  Any guesses?

God saw that man was alone and said, “it is not good for man to be alone,” and so God made woman, a helper, a companion, someone to compliment and help in life.  We are made for each other, to help one another, and to be helped by one another.

One could argue that it is not weakness to need help; it is actually strength.  When we ask for help, we are being strengthened by those around us, we are actually living the way we were designed to live.  In fact, it is when we stand alone that we are at our weakest.

The wisdom of Ecclesiastes puts it this way, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, demonstrates our necessary dependency by showing that together we are one body in Christ.  “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it “ (1 Cor 12:26–27).

And, of course, all of this ought to point us to a greater need that we all have.  Not only were we made to need one another, we were made to need the help of God, to depend on him.   He is the one who gives and sustains life, he is the one who provides and protects.  God sends water in its season, and commands the stars and the planets in their course through the skies.  All that we have, all that we need, comes from His hand.  How we need Him!

So let me put it to you directly, if we cannot call on our neighbors in times of need, will we call upon Lord?  If we have convinced ourselves that needing help is a sign of weakness, and that there is something wrong in the asking, will we ever honestly, earnestly, heartily, and expectantly come before the Lord in prayer?  As the old hymn tells us:

Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we will not carry, everything to God in prayer.

Be strong enough to admit your need for help.  Turn to your brother or sister and let them support and strengthen you.  Turn to the Lord with your ever need, and you will find that God “satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9).

As I was writing this, a couple of songs came to mind that I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

SDG

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About reveds

Occupation: Pastor, Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Lennox, SD Education: BS - Christian Education, Sterling College; MDiv. - Princeton Theological Seminary Family: Married, with Four children. Hobbies: Running (will someday run a marathon), Sci-Fi (especially Doctor Who and Sherlock), Theater, and anything else my kids will let me do.
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