Internally I felt as chaotic as my surroundings looked on the outside. That tends to happen to me. When life is cluttered, disorganized, and rushed around me, I tend to feel ill-at-ease inside.
After an unexpected move, furniture and boxes piled on top of each other lined the walls of every room in our house.
I was still expected at work, deadlines loomed, and company would arrive soon with hardly a straight path on which to walk.
I felt like I was stranded in an ocean on a raft, madly trying to paddle both sides at once to get to level ground. One after the other, the waves came and threatened to pull me under.
“How would I get it all done? How would I handle it all myself?”
Almost as if I’d whispered those questions aloud, I sensed a quiet answer come from within, “You’re not meant to. My yolk is easy and my burden is light. Give me yours in exchange for mine.”
The tears began to flow as I slumped on the floor, piles all around me. I couldn’t do it alone.
I wasn’t meant to do it alone.
He didn’t expect me to do it alone, and He didn’t give brownie points even if I did.
From around the corner, the sweetest expression of love came in the form of three small words from a young boy, “Can I help?”
While “I love you” warms a heart, “Can I help” is like a gift of love that leaves a tattoo of mercy.
There wasn’t anything specific I had for him to do, but just his gracious offer strengthened me to continue.
The next day, I returned a phone call from a friend. “Hi Friend, I’m just returning your call to see how I can help…” She chuckled before replying, “Oh I didn’t need any help, but it makes me smile to think you were willing to offer help without even knowing what I might need!” It didn’t matter, my heart longed to do anything to help a friend.
Those two encounters replayed over and over in my mind for the next several days.
Being offered help brought me joy.
Helping another brought me joy.
Then the Lord reminded me, as if sharing His own joy,
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
God created us to function as part of a body. All parts of the body are necessary for the whole body to function optimally.
We were created for fellowship and to help each other. From the beginning of time, God said it was not good for man to be alone. So he created a helper.
It made me wonder…what would our families, our schools, our jobs, our neighborhoods, our world, be like if when encountering another, our first thought, our underlying attitude, was “How can I help?”
Who can you help today? How do you feel when you give of yourself?
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I love this! All too often I forget to ask others how I can help–which is silly because I love it when I’m overwhelmed and someone utters those three beautiful words! Thank you for reminding me to extend an offer to others as a way to discover joy.
How I love seeing your name and beautiful picture show up in my comments Anita!! It’s amazing how much emotional weight can be lifted from our shoulders simply by the offer of help…even when there isn’t anything that can necessarily be done. It reminds us we aren’t alone. You did that for me just the other day with your sweet offer regarding my book. Just brought me great joy! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I’ve had the biggest reminder of not being able to go it alone this week with my husband out of town. Just having him home will be a big help tonight!
Steph, isn’t it wonderful that God knew we would need fellowship and companionship with others, and then He provided a way? God is so good to know and anticipate our needs. Given that we were created in His image, we can meet the needs of others. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I wish more people would actually “do this” instead of just “say it.” I know people have good intentions but there are times I hear people say it but never follow through. I agree, those words can be a life line to someone stressed out, overwhelmed or just needs a break. Jesus said we are to be the light, this is one area we can be. Enjoyed reading this wonderful reminder to reach out and actually “do” the words we say.
I can relate to your sentiment, Michelle. I’d rather someone not offer than offer and not follow through. You’re right, this is one area we can be a light to someone else. Blessings to you! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I try to help by blogging about planning and organizing. I hope I reach someone out there and take a load off of their shoulders.
Kristy, I’m sure your gifts and talents bless many. Blessings to you.
Perfect! I always love when post messages coincide – it tells me the Holy Spirit is working on more than just me… I need to add your bottom line to the message I just posted – Asking “How can I help” is a perfect way to celebrate, encourage, and build relationship with others. I’m so glad I am your neighbor at TellHisStory today.
Yes, Janet, that’s absolutely true! Asking “How can I help” can make such a difference. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
It is so true that being offered help and giving it ourselves both are a healing salve! Yes, three beautiful words, indeed!
Yes, Laura, both are a healing salve! Blessings!
What a great post! How we all need to be reminded of these precious three words…to offer and receive…I love The Message version of Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Love His unforced rhythms of grace…many blessings to you!
Beth, in my archives is a blog post “Unforced Rhythms of Grace” based on that very passage. I love it too!! Just reading it helps me take a deep breath! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
As always, you offer practical ways to help ourselves and others serve Christ and do it with joy and hope. Thank you.
How your words encourage me so, Debbie! Thank you for taking the time to cheer my heart today! Blessings!
LOVE this! I so needed to hear this today. Time to trade my yolk for His.
Thanks for linking up with us at Woman to Woman’s Word Filled Wednesday. God bless!
It blesses my heart when I hear of how He has used my humble obedience to provide the word someone needed to hear this day. Thanks for letting me know that, Jennifer! I hope we’ll see you here again soon! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Yes, how different the world would be if more of us asked, “Can I help?” Today I had the opportunity to help a friend pack for a move. It is so stressful to box up your life and face the changes of transition. Loved your post today.
Today you had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I know your friend was thankful for the help, and I know He was proud of you for your sacrifice! Blessings!! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Acts of service is how I receive love, so I totally get the “Can I help?” YES! After years of feeling like I was supposed do it all for everyone, I now use God’s plumb line – is the task easy and light? Meaning, is this something He wants for me to do with His help? Even though things might be hard, when I engage with Him, the “hard” begins to transform. Tomorrow, I am going to clean a friend’s house while she is out of town and I am JOYFUL I get to do it.
Jennifer, I love your phrase “God’s plumb line.” When He’s in it, we don’t have to strive, and we can be joyful! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I was just thinking about not carrying the load alone this morning during my Bible study. It’s nice to have that message reaffirmed here. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
Don’t you just love when God does that confirming for us, Kristin? We really can rest in Him. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
These are magic words when we need them. When we can offer them, we certainly should 🙂 Thanks for sharing this post at Together on Tuesdays!!!
There are definitely times we need to be doing the offering, for sure. But there are also those times, it’s ok to be on the receiving end. He never meant for us to go it alone! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I have learned to ask for and to gratefully accept help. Not only is it good for me, it is a gift to those who want to help. Our house burned down four years ago which created a terrific opportunity for others to give and for us to graciously accept their help.
You’ve learned a valuable lesson: both to ask and gratefully receive help, but also what it feels like to be in need and accept it, so that you can meet others’ needs. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thank you for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!
My pleasure, Mary.