Scripture readings for today

In each of the readings today, God reminds us to come to Him with our needs. He tells us to simply ask, as Esther does, “Help me who are alone.” The psalmist says, “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.”  In the gospel, Matthew says, “ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

The Lord is making promises. He hears and will answer us.  The scriptures about casting our fears and problems onto the Lord are endless. He begs us to come to Him, both directly and through the family and friends and communities He has placed in our lives. Unfortunately, we too often dig our heels in and refuse to ask for help.  So what stops us? What keeps us from the open and merciful arms of Jesus?

We live in a culture that is so terribly individualistic. Like a 2 year old putting on his shoes, we tell the Lord, “I can do it myself!”  We do so much alone, and often are praised for it. We wrongly perceive that needing help or (gasp!) asking for it, is a sign of weakness. We believe that everyone around us manages their lives just fine. We don’t see them needing a babysitter or an assistant, or a personal trainer, a mentor, or a counselor. We don’t see their crises of faith, or their professional problems or their marital struggles.  Or there are times when even if we can humble ourselves enough to acknowledge that we could use an extra hand, we assume we are an imposition on others. “They have enough on their plate,” we think.

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The problem with this is that we forget how we bless others and Jesus, himself, by letting them share in our hard seasons. When we courageously reach out to the people God has placed in our lives for these exact times, we whisper, “hey, me too. We are struggling too. You are not the only ones.”  We say to them, “I trust you enough to share this with you.” One of Satan’s greatest weapons is isolation. He makes us feel as though we are the only ones with problems. And he does it to all of us. So when one of us takes that leap of faith to say, “help me who are alone,” we open the door for the Lord to answer our needs but also to give others permission to extend their hand of need when their time comes.  How often does doing something small for someone else transform your day?  By saying “help me, please,” we have no idea how we will help the person providing for us. We may just make their day a little better by the warmth that act of service brings. Or we may be the reason they, too, take a deep breath today and say, “ I could use some help, myself.”

Today, bring your needs to Jesus. Let him bear your burdens. Take advantage of people He has given you to share your hardships. You may very well end up blessing someone else by doing so.

Keri Ninness is married to husband, Ross, and is a stay-at-home mom to Mary Kate (4), Thomas (2) and Timothy (1). She uses her background in social work to attempt to reason with the above children but spends most of her day using her horrible domestic skills as a short order cook.