by Emily Conrad
No one was as surprised as me by how quickly asking for help can change things.
Some friends and I sat around a table, doing a 1000-piece puzzle. One had searched and searched for a specific piece. After failing to find it, she resorted to describing the piece to the group so we could help.
As soon as she spoke up, she found the exact piece she needed out of all the other pieces spread before us. None of us even had the chance to pitch in.
Knowing I often use life experiences in my blog posts, one of my friends said I ought to use this for a blog post on the importance of asking for help.
I laughed it off until the same situation repeated itself at least twice more—once when I was the one scouring the table for one elusive piece. No sooner had I finished speaking than I found it.
Something just works about asking for help.
But a puzzle is one thing, right? Our lives are much more complicated, our problems more serious. Often, speaking a need isn’t enough. We need others to answer. We need God to answer.
But others can’t answer if we don’t risk voicing our needs.
As believers, we’re encouraged to continue gathering together to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24-25). We need each other’s help.
Though God can read our minds without us voicing our needs, we’re also encouraged to bring all our cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7). He’s the author of life. He sustains us every moment of every day. We’ll never find a piece of the complicated puzzle we call life without Him.
But as basic as it ought to be, sometimes we miss that step of asking for help.
We stay in that stage of silently searching for the missing piece for far too long.
Bringing a concern or heartache to others and to God takes a certain amount of humility. It means saying, “I’ve tried to make sense of this, but I can’t.” But in so doing, we find help.
So it makes sense that the order to cast our cares on God in 1 Peter 5:7 is preceded by verses about humility.
Here’s a slightly extended glimpse of the passage:
And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5b-7, NET)
Away from the puzzle table, we don’t always get the answer we asked for immediately as we voice it. The three little words, “in due time” above indicate this.
But still, something happens when we ask.
And once in a while, God does act immediately.
In my own life, the pieces of my writing life have been tough to put together this year. The last twelve months have brought some significant, difficult events. Whether from distraction or discouragement, writing has been slow, hard work.
If you read my post for Seriously Write earlier this week, you’ll know that everything changed for the better when I started praying God would give me words. Suddenly, writing flowed more easily than it has all year.
I don’t want to repeat that whole post here, so if you want to know what I’ve learned about writer’s block and praying for my writing, you can visit that post over on Seriously Write.
But for today, my point is, we need to ask for help for even the most basic things.
You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. (James 4:2d-3, NET)
Certainly, let’s be careful to ask rightly. Let’s make bringing God glory our main concern. But let’s also remember that we can’t bring God glory on our own. He’s the one who gives us everything good, including the desire to serve Him and every single tool and opportunity we need to fulfill that desire.
We will never find the piece (or the peace) we’re looking for unless God provides it.
So let’s ask.
And let’s ask not only Him, but also in front of and with our brothers and sisters in Christ because often, He uses others to point out missing pieces we need. If we don’t have the humility to ask, we could be searching in vain for a long, long time.
Yes, I’ve peppered this post with examples of immediate answers because those are the encouraging ones. And I pray you get some immediate encouragement as you start asking for the help you need.
The search for a specific piece may still be long. “Due time” may still be a long time from now. But in the wait, God is faithful. Continue to seek Him, to ask Him for even the most basic pieces like faith, patience, and love for Him, and He will provide all the pieces you need.
So let’s ask.
via @emilyrconrad #prayer #provision
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