Friday, 22 July 2016

How Do I Help You?

Sometimes, I see a friend struggling and I know their issues are many and complex and there is no easy fix.   But I want to help in some way.   

When there is no easy fix, just how do I help?   Especially when I feel so helpless in the face of the struggle that is both in front of them and what's already behind them, pulling them down and making them feel not only helpless, but  hope-less.  

When a person is sinking and stuck in a pit that they really cannot climb out of alone, what help do I offer?   Sometimes that pit is of their own making; oftentimes it isn't.  Either way, they need to get out of there, and they need help to do that.

But, right now, I am at a loss to know how to help that person get out of that pit and stay out.   It's not enough to help them out.    They need to know and want to stay out - when the pit is their 'normal'. 

I think of our youngest daughter, a few years ago now, learning to crawl.    How did I help her learn to crawl?  I couldn't keep rescuing her.   She had to learn to go forwards, not backwards.

And so I am led to 'just' pray. 

And that is exactly where God has led me - to 'just' pray.  I have exhausted my theories and ideas and most of my encouragement, because this person needs more. 

They need Him, His very real help, just like the people  who encountered a very real Jesus as He walked this very real earth with all its pits.   So many had exhausted their options, or their friends and family had exhausted their encouragement and help.   They just needed His touch. 

So, I pray.    And in the praying I unleash a help that no pit can withstand, even if I can't see what exactly is going on down there.   But I don't need to see.  I just need to pray, and pray believing and knowing that Jesus knows exactly how to help, that by 'just' praying I am helping in the most powerful way I can.

For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you (struggling friend) with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Eph 3:17-20

Linking up at Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes on a given prompt.  Today's prompt is 'help'.

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  1. Thank you for suggesting prayer. It's so grand. There is so much power when we do something so humbling.

    1. I think the breakthrough comes when we've run out of our own answers, and realise God is the answer. Is for me, anyways. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Great post.

    For what it's worth, you have hit on exactly the right question...How Can I Help?

    We have a sanctuary for abused dogs, and I have a protocol for meeting their needs that looks inefficient, but given my terminal illness...I can do it.

    Offers of help are so welcome, but many want to help 'streamline' things. They don't realize that dogs have a memory, and that if they institute protocols that are 'better'...once they've left, I can't accomplish them.

    That said, I don't refuse help, because it's important for help to be accepted, even if the full understanding isn't there.

    I hope this makes sense. Not doing well this week. But the dogs are happy!

    #1 at FMF.

    1. Great point, Andrew. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing your very difficult journey. A good reminder not to judge what looks like inefficiency and be humble enough to ask how we can help.

  3. Great post! Sometimes it can feel like "just" praying is not enough but often it's the most helpful thing we can do. Supporting a friend through anorexia and depression helped me realise that. I wanted to do more but really I just had to give it to God.

    1. Sometimes, I think God stretches us to the point of having nothing left, of ourselves, to give, so we realise what we need and our friends need, is 'just' Him. Thanks for stopping by Carly.

  4. Kath, you're so right about the power of prayer. So often, I tend to undervalue it in my desire to help. I am getting better at turning to prayer more quickly, but I so appreciate your reminder. I'm so glad we "met!"

    1. Hi Jeanne. Thanks for stopping by. I have to remind myself of these things so many times, so it helps to write them down. Loved your post, but couldn't figure out how to reply to it. So many truths there.

  5. Great use of scripture. Someone told me recently that scripture is the language of prayer. I feel encouraged, again, to use scripture to guide the direction of my prayers.
    As you pray for your friend, may God make you ever aware of His working in and through you. May He give you wisdom in resting in prayer or in offering a word of encouragement.