>Weakness is humbling. No, more than that . . . it’s embarrassing. It’s terrifically difficult to say, “I need help,” when the help you need is for something you think you should be able to do.

It starts when we’re small. “I do it!”, the toddler sternly declares. A few years later, “Nooooo! Let meeeeeee!” The teen’s exasperated, “I’m not a baby!!” Culminating in the oft-heard adult response, “Nah, I can handle it. Thanks, tho.”

We cherish our independence, take pride in our versatility, covet the image of capability. Many of us take it to such an extreme that when we really DO need help, even badly, we still can’t bring ourselves to allow it. “No; thanks for asking, but we’ll be okay.” To admit the need for help would expose our weakness or our failure or our . . . well, I don’t know what to call it. But to admit the need for help exposes something about us that we don’t like to admit – that we’re not as self-sufficient as we want to be.

When you read this [Oct. ’09], I’ll still have from four to eight weeks to go before I am allowed to pick up anything that weighs more than ten pounds (and ten pounds is really pushing the limits.) I can’t push or pull anything that takes as much as ten pounds of pressure to move. I can’t drive a car. I can’t play a guitar. I can’t raise my elbows above my shoulders or my hands above my head. I have to be extremely careful when taking the milk out of the fridge, or moving a chair to sit down at or get up from the table. (The thing I missed most on Sunday – hugging the children I usually get to hug!)

I want so much to do all the things I normally do, but I have to ask for help. But I’m blessed to be surrounded by friends, brothers and sisters in Christ who want to help. I’m blessed that way, because if I didn’t, I’d be lost in my day-to-day living.

The discussion brings to mind some pertinent scripture passages about weakness:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:6,8)

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
(Rom 8:26)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

We are too weak to save ourselves. We are too weak to communicate completely with God. We are too weak to move through life without the constant company of Christ. And just like our other weaknesses, we keep trying to avoid admitting those things.

We need to learn to tolerate a higher level of embarrassment.

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