Friends, my joy is lacking. Or rather, my joy in my present circumstances is lacking, which is understandable. And if I consider for too long how the whole house, myself now included, is sick, I can easily stay in a joyless place. But I’m not of this world and my present circumstances may stink now, but I know more than these present circumstances.
We, however, are citizens of heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven.
This goes back to my asking for prayers for my grandma and grandpa who are now staring a terminal diagnosis of Alzheimers in the face…without the comfort and assurances of God. And a natural inclination in the face of adversity, be it a terminal illness like Alzheimers or a house full of sick kids and momma now down as well, is to rely on ourselves. But we can’t do it on our own…spiritually or physically.
And without a hope of something more…heaven or even a hot meal from a kind friend…life becomes more of burden than necessary. Those who lack a relationship with our Lord are pridefully, although maybe not consciously, considering themselves better to take care of the situation than God and those of (us) who don’t accept a help offered are doing the same. Ouch.
These weeks that Chris has been out of town and child after child has been sick, I have tried not to ask for help and in thew process possibly stretched myself too thin. I know we all have our own stuff we’re dealing with in the day to day and I don’t want to bother anyone and possibly stretch them even further than they may already feel. How prideful of me! To refuse an offer of help, to deny someone the opportunity to practice charity for their neighbor…even if their neighbor is me and I live almost half an hour or more from them.
St Paul takes a minute to list all the reasons he has to be proud, and ends with, “But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake.” (Philippians 3:7)
Am I stretching here girls? I don’t think so. How many times do we have this mental list of all the reasons we can do it or make it on our own and refuse a helping hand out of some sort of false pride?
St Paul frequently gives thanks for those who have helped him or are helping in his present circumstances. He acknowledges their physical and spiritual help throughout his “Letter of Joy.” He recognizes he cannot do it alone, be it without Christ or his fellow laborers. We too need the help of Christ–obviously–but also the help of others. Even our dear Lord received help from Simon in carrying His cross.