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Sunday, February 7, 2016

What holds you back from asking?


Have you ever stood and watched small children at the supermarket checkout eagerly asking mummy if they could have one of the lollipops or chocolate bars brightly displayed along the edge of the counter?

Young ones don't agonise over whether or not they should ask, they don't fear a 'no' response - they see, they want, and they ask. Simple as that. They don't play mental mind games with themselves the way we big people do.

I'm not good at asking anything for myself, in fact it's only been during the course of this past year that I've been brave enough to enlist help from tall strangers in the supermarket aisle to retrieve products I want from the top shelf. And you know, not once has my plea been declined. 

It's been an interesting experience to ponder my life thus far and imagine all the wonderful opportunities, conversations, relationships and experiences that I have missed out on because I couldn't 'ask'.

The flip side is that I ask a lot of myself, do a lot myself and find it natural to give a lot of myself, with the result that seasons of burn-out and extreme adrenaline depletion are increasing and I'm taking longer to recover from them.

So why am I doing so much myself and not asking for help?

Pride in being self-sufficient and appearing capable, fear of a negative response, not wanting to be a nuisance? All three I think, and probably more reasons I'm yet to uncover.

Here's an example of my pride:
In a practical sense, if I'm exhausted with too many things to do there's no use complaining and whining, wishing the work go away or I'd have more energy to accomplish it, because the sensible and humble thing is to ask for help from those close to me and accept their help. You see, the answer is right in front of me but my pride holds me back.

But it's not just in day to day relationships and opportunities of life that I've lacked asking. It's in my relationship with God as well.

Remember the Sermon on the Mount? 
Jesus taught thousands that day and as we read in Matthew 7:7 one of the teachings He gave was the instruction for people to ASK. When I grasped this verse anew it was comforting (and confronting) because I realised I'm not alone in this problem, and it's not a new 21st century personality flaw either.

Two thousand years ago Jesus needed to remind His people to ask God for all their needs.
Today, in God's living Word, He still reminds us to ask.

What are you not asking for?
What are your needs?
What do you want?

Is it time to come before the throne of grace and lay all your cares at the foot of Jesus and ASK for what you truly need or want?
Maybe you think it's too much, right up there on the top shelf? 
Hey, sweet child of God, He can reach it for you. It may not be the brand you thought you wanted, and it may look a little different to what you imagined, but be assured that what He gives to you will be the best He has for you.

And don't forget, just like that small child, it's not just about asking for answers to the heavy things in life. You can ask God for fun things too. He's your gracious Daddy who loves to give good gifts to His children. Maybe you've forgotten that like I did.

Let's put aside our pride and fears and start asking, okay? Our Father is all ears...

hugs



19 comments:

Jacqueline said...

What I am finally and I do mean finally starting to realize is that, if I listen, God is always right there leading me in all things. I just have to listen.

Thanks for sharing.

Petal49 said...

Oh Jenny, this is so true of me. Just what I needed this Sunday morning. Thank you.

Kaylene said...

Thank you, Jenny! A great reminder to not to try to do everything in our own strength.

Patty said...

I drop over and see your wonderful projects but I usually do not comment. I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed this post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend in the Lord!

Allie-oops Designs said...

Yes yes yes - another very thought-provoking and insightful post, dear Jenny-girl! I find it so easy to ask on someone else's behalf, and so hard to ask for my own needs. OR wants.

Laughing about needing to ask for help on the top shelf - I'm having to ask for help on the bottom shelves now! Too tall, can't get down there [or back up]!

Beth @ Conversations from my House said...

Had to chuckle a bit about the comment you made on asking strangers help in the super market!. Just yesterday I did it, not once but twice! As I have gotten older I have "shrunk" apparently almost two inches... so those top shelves are now nearly impossible to reac AND in the case of yesterday what I needed had been pushed back to the back. I guess I could have climbed up.... NOT!! hehehe

cucki said...

Such true words
Thank you sweet friend x

Little Penpen said...

The older I get, the more I have learned to just ask HIM! Thanks for the great post.

Jackie said...

Thank you for the wonderful post....

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! I enjoyed your message this morning very much and was delighted to know that you are asking for help more as you need it! It truly can be a very difficult task or burden to bear. When we do ask the Lord for help it alone always makes me feel better instantly; so your message is so important for all of us to do. Thank you for sharing and I want you to know that I do keep you and your family in my prayers. Have a fantastic creative day!

Debra said...

I am very much the same way, Jenny. I take pride in being self-sufficient and I am reticent about asking for help. Consequently, I burn out. Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

mrsmcbee said...

Oh my gosh, thank-you so very much, I really needed this inspiration today, what a blessing you are.

desertskyquilts said...

Amazing, Jenny. Once again, we are thinking about the same things! I've been working through this asking thing a lot recently. I have no trouble asking for things for others, but sometimes I won't ask for myself. I think all of us forget that whatever family position gave us experience, whatever marital experience affected us, whatever caused any of our experiences, it's all worldly, and God is a whole 'nother kind of giver and parent! And pride? Oh, yes. I can do it all myself ... only I can't, and I've been trying to remember that I'm not supposed to. I liked the analogy of things on the top shelf. Thanks for a great Sunday thinking time!

RevTrudy said...

As I began to read your blog I couldn't help but think, "Wow this is GREAT sermon material." And then as I read further I realized that it IS a short sweet caring sermon that we can all learn from. If I may, I would like to use your comments in a sermon in my church. Your words were ones that I truly needed to read (as tears roll down my face in conviction). Thank you for starting my day by touching my heart.

A Bear Mountain Pattern said...

What a wonderful post. I laughed, and then I cried.
Thank you for touching my heart.

Brenda T. said...

So true Jenny. Why is it easy to ask for others and not for ourselves? A few years ago (quite a few actually) instead for making a list of New Years resolutions I decided to make a list of the things I needed and pray those needs to God. I would sometimes even make a side note of how I thought God would meet me needs. (most of the needs were in the way of home repairs that were needed and there were many since I am single at this point in my life.) I love to go back at the end of the year and see how God had met those needs and how many things were now off the list. And it was interesting to see that most times I had thought I knew how God would meet those needs, He did it in a completely different way. God does want us to come to Him about every need, He loves being our Provider. It is so wonderful to see His hand in our lives. At New Year's resolutions I fail everytime, but praying my needs to God, He always meets them! I love your blog, so uplifting!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

You're most welcome to quote any of my devotions, RevTrudy. Bless you, sweet gal. x

Maria said...

Amen beautiful sister in Christ; this is such a good reminder for us all. Love your blog Jenny, your encouragement, and your beautiful stitching.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Love what you did Brenda T!