"I hope you're not going to be mad at me." My husband's cousin met me at the door. I looked at her in surprise. I had just come back from a much needed walk, a walk that without her willingness to come over and watch Trey, would not have happened.
Taking off my walking shoes, I looked up. "Why would I possibly be mad at you?"
"Well, I couldn't help myself," she stammered, looking very guilty. "I washed your dishes. I clean when I'm nervous..."
I began to laugh, and gave her a big hug. "Thank you so much!" I said. "And I'll never be mad at you for THAT!"
Remembering this made me smile as I began to write our devotional today. A few years ago, I struggled with all the help my mother wanted to give me. She was amazing - folding laundry, washing dishes, cleaning up around my house. But I was proud, and I felt guilty about accepting her help.
It was Rebekah, my Amish girlfriend, who changed my mind. "As our children get bigger, we mothers want to do whatever we can to help," she scolded. "You need to learn to just say 'Thank you' and let her be happy helping you!"
Sometimes, I think we're that way with God, too. We fret and worry, we stew and fume, we feel guilty and think we're failures - and we forget that God, our Father, wants to help us. We forget that Jesus lived this life and understands our struggles. How many times in the past week did you ask Jesus to help you figure out a struggle?
Today's encouragement is this:
"We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all - all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help."
Hebrews 4:15-16 MSG (emphasis mine)
Jesus WANTS to help you. He is waiting for you to ask for his help. You don't need to feel weird about taking the mercy he wants you to have.
And it trickles over into your other relationships too. When you allow yourself to accept Jesus' help and mercy - you'll find yourself more willing to extend it to other people as well.
Just say 'Thank you'. Then let him help you clean up that mess you're in...
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)