I really don't like asking for help. Maybe it's the oldest child in me (i.e. pride and self-sufficiency). Or maybe I just feel bad inconveniencing people (again, pride). But I really don't like having to ask for help, especially on a regular basis. And lately, it seems like that is all I am doing.
Nothing says helpless like the third trimester of a twin pregnancy. Most days I need help putting on my shoes. I can't get all of the household tasks done. After I cook dinner I'm just too tired to do the dishes. It takes me days to put away the laundry. I need help getting out of the recliner, and sometimes off the couch. When my husband travels I can't stay alone anymore because there are too many variables that could go wrong. And the list could go on. I am a woman in need of a lot of help. Add to this mix the fact that the last few years have been fairly needy for me (surgery, infertility, miscarriage, moving), and I feel like God is doing a number on my prideful self-sufficiency.
Asking for help does something to you. It is a declaration of dependency. When I ask for help I am essentially saying "I cannot do this on my own. I need the aid of another." Asking for help is an acknowledgment that I do not have it all together, and who really likes to do that?
But as I've reflected on my helplessness these last few months I've been reminded that any self-sufficiency on my part is only an illusion. Even in my healthiest days, my ability to move with relative ease and take care of my daily tasks with speed were still not of my own making. James reminds us that there is nothing we have that we did not receive. Left to ourselves we are a helpless people, in pregnancy and in non-pregnancy. Our inability to complete everything we want to do on a given day, even in the best of circumstances, reminds us of our finiteness--and God's infiniteness. Only God gets his to-do list done. Only God is self-sufficient. We are not.
And this understanding of our helplessness translates into our need for a Savior. We bring nothing to the table when it comes to God accepting us. In fact, we can't even save ourselves. The more we see our own helplessness as human beings, the more we will see our desperate need for the salvation that only Christ can bring. My weak attempts to put my shoes on in the morning are simply a reminder that this weakness pales in comparison to the deep weakness in my own soul (i.e. sin). Sin is my greatest problem. And sin is what keeps me from seeing the Savior. Every other little weakness I face on a daily basis reminds me that God is God and I am not. I bring nothing to the table except filthy rags. He provides every grace and garment needed to cover my sinful pride and weakness.
So the next time I'm struggling to put shoes on my swollen feet, or when I feel like a beached whale trying to get off the couch, I will remember that these momentary weaknesses are reminders of my smallness. Only God is self-sufficient. Only God gets everything done every day. Only God is capable of never asking for help. And when I ask for help, no matter how hard it is, I am acknowledging once again that he is God and I am not.