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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Asking For Help
On what miracles do the heavens open up?
A hard life of choice
There was a man of some age that had literally never asked another for help. Even as a child. One could say he asked for help from doctors from time to time but not really, he simply engaged their services and paid them for it. And for sure this man believed in his God. But he felt it selfish to ask his God for anything. He actually rose to a level where he got people to do things for him, but these were orders and not requests. He literally never found the need to say please and thank you. We could call the man self-sufficient.
There was another man that went to war and also lost his wife to tragedy. He moved into the wilderness. He lived as a hermit and had no need to communicate with others. Everything he needed he provided for himself. He never asked another for help.
And yet another man, who early in life became addicted to the powerful drug of alcohol. Somehow the man kept living but he was miserable and stuck in a world of hurt and anguish that never could be soothed. He simply could not reach out for help.
And then somehow, almost miraculously all three men changed. Something in common happened to all three. Not a lightning bolt, not even a vision from God. And certainly not anything the men were looking for in their lives.
If we look hard at these men we see rather sad lives. If we look at ourselves we see some of us in each of them. Or is that that we see some of them in ourselves? Many of us have a streak in us that causes us to say “I can do it myself”. And even a part of us that says “I can do it better than anyone”.
Let us pause here and consider what is said of a doctor or a lawyer who has himself for a patient or a client. I think the line suggests that they have a fool for a patient or a client. Perhaps that is deeper than a quick line, joke or advice.
A union requires the asking and the providing of things in love.
My grandpa was a master carpenter. Wow he made me proud when he gave me a chore.
Stooping is not so good, stooping to raise someone up is perfection of love.
It would seem to me that most of us have delayed asking for help until it was too late, or at least a whole lot more complicated than if we would have reached out sooner. I will not admit to that dumb mistake when it comes to cars and dentistry ;-) OK I will admit that one time I toughed out for several months with a fairly large tumor growing inside me – and that dumb delay nearly cost my children their father. And that brings us to fathers.
(First a fun little side note. My 6 year old and I were kind of laughing at something his mom did that was peculiar. In her absence of course. I said at the end “I sure do love your mother” and then “how about you”. He responded “why wouldn’t I?” Good point)
Now as a father we want to help our children. Sometimes watching them go through growing pains is quite hard. But like the old line says “you got to know when to hold em and when to fold em”. With a child a good father must know when not to interfere. And then the tough part. If the child does not put effort into the task but asks for help, a good father must also know when to motivate but not “do for”. And along this line, a good father must support and teach the act of asking for help.
I know we are not getting back to the miracle that happened to the three men. Please be patient.
The helping out of a homeless person is almost never done because such a person asks for help. It is done because the need is known by someone who can and does offer help. No I am not dealing with panhandlers and beggars here which are really a very tiny part of our homeless. And on this diversion, I do recommend giving a dollar often.
We do not use a dishwashing machine. We are aware it may take more water doing them by hand, but it does not use electricity. Now my wife is quite competent to do the dishes. There are a few reasons that it would be better for her not to do them. She does not ask if I will do them. And it bothers her to have any sitting in the sink. So I do them and basically keep the sink clean. How trivial. Or is it. I do the task at hand without being asked to. My mom taught me to do that for women.
If a lady is approaching a door I hurry to open it. At the grocery store I return my carts and sometimes pick up some garbage and toss it. Do not think these things a virtue of mine. Helping in these respects was just beat into me before being a teen and for years afterward. “If you must be asked to do these things, Eric, they don’t really mean a thing”.
Just holding a child's hand is the asking and the giving.
Put your hand in another's hand and ask
Please give another a special gift
Now there are two things we must talk about in asking for help. The first one is the benefit to the person asking for the help. Oh how cursed I am about allowing friends and family into my world of problems. It just does not seem right. Now there was another thing my mom pounded into my head. In presenting one’s self to others, one is clean, one is well groomed, one has a smile upon their face, one is respectful. And probably the most important thing is not to wear your problems on your sleeve. It is rude to burden another with your problems – and boy howdy that is triple true about family issues. Let me say about that: It is a two edged sword. Sure it helps you “succeed” in life and sure it can screw you up as sharing problems is one of the best cures. And unresolved resentments, and emotional pain that is not cured is real bad for you.
Well asking for help is a real good thing for the requester. Life is just too darned short to not share your burdens with others. One person and one person on a problem, is more than just two people. Here is a cool Bible verse that kind of hits on this point: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2018:20 And of course we play the song above.
The second is the benefit to the person being asked. And here is the miracle for our 3 tortured souls we started out with. Sometimes in this world we need to feel needed. Whether it be a job, our community or our relationships. This preaching man gets way down on himself if he gets to feeling worthless. There is no better remedy for a troubled man than to be of service to others. There is nothing in parenting that compares to the joy in one’s heart than when a child asks for help and we do our best to help. A handout is well and good, but giving a hand up creates a connection with God and fills any void with love. Can helping others make a sick man well? Absolutely yes! Can a heart be filled with joyfulness in the act of responded to an prayer for help? Absolutely yes!
Oh for sure on this wonderful day that the Lord has made, help someone. And one of the finest ways to help another is to ask for their help. It is miracle what it can do for them. Help them be uplifted in reaching a goal of helping and loving their fellow man.