When we call out for help (please) we are bound more powerfully to God through our needs and weaknesses, our unfulfilled hopes and dreams, our anxieties and problems than we ever could have been through our joys, successes, and strengths alone.
Calling for help allows us to move from being self-reliant to becoming reliant on God!
The beautiful thing about being reliant on God is that God always, ALWAYS, shows up . . . sometimes we just don’t see . . .
Have you heard the story about the drowning man? It is a great fictitious example of how God offers us help, but often times we don’t see . . .
“A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
The people who offered this man help are often called “stretcher bearers.” Friends (or could be strangers) who care enough about someone to carry them/their burdens.
God reveals God’s self to us through our stretcher-bearers.
This is a beautiful prayer by St. Teresa of Avila . . .
Christ has no body here but ours, no hands or feet here on earth but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which he looks on this world with kindness.
Ours are the hands through which he works. Ours are the feet on which he moves.
Ours are the voices through which he speaks to this world with kindness. Through our touch, our smile, our listening ear,
Embodied in us, Jesus is living here.
So let us go now, filled with the Spirit, into this world with kindness. Adapted from St. Teresa
17 On one of the days while Jesus was teaching, some proud religious law-keepers and teachers of the Law were sitting by Him. They had come from every town in the countries of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was there to heal them. 18 Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus. He was carried on a bed. They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. 19 But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Thoughts to ponder:
- How can God use your “please” prayer to help you be a stretcher bearer for others?
- Who has been a stretcher bearer for you?
- To what effort are you willing to go to bear other’s stretcher?
- Do you need to offer forgiveness to anyone when they perhaps didn’t “bear your stretcher” in the way you felt it needed to be?