Help! her spirit whispered inside her. She needed help but hesitated to ask for it.
One of my writer friends found herself stuck recently with a deadline looming. Amy, a friend of hers, possessed skills that could help her, but she hesitated to ask. Amy had so much on her plate lately.
After struggling on her own and failing to resolve her writing dilemma, my friend finally gave in and called Amy.
“Thank goodness you called,” Amy replied. I’ve been up to my ears in personal issues and I prayed for distractions to get my mind off them. Your call is an answer to my prayer. Ask away. I’m so glad you need my help.”
What a lovely and holy twist God gave these circumstances. Instead of being a bother, my friend’s need provided the very distraction for which Amy prayed. We don’t often pray for distractions. We usually pray for relief from them, right?
Pleasing the Devil
Who benefits when we hesitate or refuse to ask for help? You’ll discover to your chagrin that the devil may be pleased by your hesitation. When you do not ask for help, you remain isolated in your own thoughts and fears. God designed each part of the Body of Christ to work together with the other parts. When one part isolates itself from the others, the Body slows as if hobbled.
The devil prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls. When you isolate yourself from the help of others, he rubs his hands in delight. In order to capture and devour prey, animals and fallen angels first must isolate their victims. By not asking for help, you walk into the devil’s isolation trap.
Oh, how light shines in our darkness when we do ask for help! Granted, a few attempts may be necessary before we find the help we need. The Holy Spirit helps us follow a persistent or intuitive thought and discover a rich result, a blessed relief from our trial. Why this surprises us over and over again makes me shake my head and wonder. We say we trust that God will answer our prayers and direct our paths. When He actually does so, we act dumbfounded. We act like Sally Fields getting her Oscar. Instead of saying, “You like me! You really like me,” we find ourselves talking internally to God when He comes to our aid, “You helped me. You really helped me!”
In shock, we often relay the story to others of how God helped us. How little belief we often find beneath our profession of faith in God. If we truly believed what we say we believe, we’d pray a simple “Thank you” when a prayer gets answered. Instead, we find ourselves telling friends and family the astonishing news that something positive happened when we followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Like it’s an anomaly or something.
In this little story, one person needed a distraction and prayed for one. Another person needed a friend’s help and asked for it. God knows everything, sees everything. He delights in matching our needs with another’s. My friend’s dilemma reminded me to let go of pride or the fear of bothering others when I need help. By seeking help, I may be answering another person’s prayer for a distracting diversion. Who knows?
God uses everything.
Our very needs answer others’ prayers, often without our knowing it.
“Fear is useless,” Jesus told Jairus when news reached them that his twelve-year-old daughter had died. Useless, too, is a reluctance to ask for help. Jesus brought Jairus’ daughter back to life because he asked for help. Being afraid he was too late in asking proved useless. Our fears holding us back from asking for help are just as useless.
Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find.
God designed us to work together as the Body of Christ. Eyes cannot do what the heart does. Hearts cannot see. Each of us has a particular work to do in and for the Body of Christ. Let us be vigilant and attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, however humble or odd they might seem, so we do not allow the devil to veer us off the path on which God placed us. Seeking, questioning, and asking God are applications of faith Faithful people resist the temptation to succumb to the pressure of fear.
When you are being pursued by the devil, or you are depressed, or things aren’t going right for you, mentally picture thus painting of Jesus’ divine mercy, and repeat over and over again – “Jesus, I trust in YOU!” The more you say it–the more you really mean it–the better things will get. The red rays coming from the Sacred Heart of Jesus symbolize the saving power of His blood. The white rays represent the saving waters of Baptism. The trust we are called to is not naive trust. This trust keeps the channel of our heart open to Jesus’ living water. Close down that trust, hold back asking for help when you need it, and you risk pleasing the devil, not God.
For more on pinpointing your stumbling blocks to asking and for simple techniques to overcome them, read Jack Canfield’s The Aladdin Factor, available in paperback, Kindle or audiobook.
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What great reminders that Jesus loves to answer our prayers. Our procrastination and fear is bait for Satan. And asking for help is an answer for someone else. I need to hear this every day. I wait so often when I need help and get in the trap of rhinking no one cares, whrn really it is no one knows. Thank you!
Thanks, Mary. You put that very well: “Our procrastination and fear is bait for Satan.” In Job 1:6-8, Satan shows up with the angels who presented themselves before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Whence did you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming the earth and patrolling it.'” Satan is always looking for someone in a vulnerable moment. He’s patrolling it looking for weakness in us. Fear and procrastination are two such baits that draw him to us. Asking others to help us in such times of weakness is like putting on the armor of Christ. We are Christ for one another. As often as we ask for help, we may be deflecting an imminent attack we didn’t even know was coming (from the devil).
Thanks, too, for clarifying our faulty thinking the no ones cares “when really it is no one knows.” Well put!
Chris, thank you for sharing this story and for reminding us of important truths.
You’re very welcome, Jeannie. We are all the Body of Christ helping one another.