8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. - Psalm 107:8-9
I love the part of the passage we’re studying this week that tells us those wandering in the wilderness cried out to Him in their distress and He delivered them. “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” - Psalm 107:6. It brings me peace and comfort to be reminded that when we cry out to Him in our trials, He is there to rescue us. But first we need to cry out to Him.
One of the greatest struggles I’ve had in life is to admit that I need help. Those who know me well know I don’t accept help easily, I’m way more comfortable in the role of helper. I actually derive a great deal of fulfillment from helping and serving others, even if it means I’m investing a great deal of my personal time. From a very young age, I’ve been an independent problem solver who is exceptionally solution oriented. I don’t like to look at problems, I like to solve them. I’m not afraid of hard work; in fact, I’d rather roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty solving the problem than to sit back and admire the problem. It’s the reason I struggle when people just want to talk about their problems. When I see a problem, I want to solve it. So, if there’s a problem in my own life, I am all about getting it fixed no matter how much work it takes. I definitely do not like to burden other people with my problems, so unless you’re exceptionally close to me, I have probably struggled to accept your help in my life - at least up until fairly recently. I am always humbled when people do help me, and exceptionally thankful - in fact, I’m usually quite blown away that people would want to help me, but I will rarely ask for help when I need it. In fact, sharing the meal train for my family with others was probably the hardest thing I have done so far.
All this to say, I don’t admit I’m needy very well. But in order for us to cry out so that we can be delivered from our distress, we need to first get to a place where we can admit we are needy - and that can be super uncomfortable me for me. I’m way more comfortable being the person that has it all together, helping the one in need, than I am admitting I have a need. But this isn’t where God wants us. We find all over scripture that it’s not those who have it all together who get His attention, it’s the poor and needy in spirit who are blessed. These words resonated with me this week - “It’s okay to not be okay. You just can’t stay there.” God leads us out in the desert to recognize that we are not okay.
The broken world we live in fights that thought - “It’s okay to not be okay. You just can’t stay there.” The first thing we learn is that it’s a sign of weakness to be needy. You need to take care of yourself or you’re weak. Be independent and strong, wipe the tears, move on, and take care of yourself. If you’re not accomplishing much with your life, then you’re useless. The other extreme our current culture throws at us is the complete opposite - it’s okay to be overwhelmed by the world and shut down. Depression and anxiety have become a commonplace excuse for not moving past a struggle in our lives. Don’t misunderstand - those who know me know I have some people very close to me who struggle with the very real demons of anxiety and depression, but they can very easily become an excuse for why a person doesn’t move past their trials. The diagnosis becomes a reason to stay in the “I’m not okay” camp and they convince themselves that they’ll never be okay because they have a handicap. We either invest way too much energy into proving we’re okay, or proving that we’re not.
“It’s okay to not be okay. You just can’t stay there.” God leads us out into the desert because He is trying to get us to a place where we recognize we are poor and needy, and that He is the solution.
I know I’ve always struggled to admit I need help from other people - it’s something I’ve work on for years with God. I’ve continually asked Him to humble me through the years, and to guard my prideful heart from feeling too competent, too capable. So, it really shouldn’t be a surprise to me to find myself in a position with this diagnosis where I am more needy than I have ever been in my life. It’s a vulnerable and uncomfortable place for me to be, but it’s clearly where He wants me to be, so I’m trying to lean in and listen to what He has for me in this season.
Press on ~ you are loved
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