“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. . . . For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:10, 13)
My first sentence in life was, “Vicki by self.” As a toddler, I tied my own shoes, zipped my own coat. As a teen, I needed no help making dinners. As a young adult, I straightened my own waist-long hair. When I became a young mother, I needed no assistance taking my baby and toddler into the city. No problem. My goal in life: complete independence.
Nothing was too hard for me to do–all by myself. Independence brought a sense of accomplishment. “If you want anything done right, do it yourself.” I’m ashamed to admit such pride.
But along came multiple sclerosis. Suddenly, I needed help. My hands had no feeling during a relapse. It felt like I was wearing gloves lined on the inside with sandpaper. I had to rely on someone else to write the instructions given by my doctor. While on IV steroids, my energy was depleted. Friends sent meals.
Relying on others was out of my comfort zone. I was accustomed to being the one who could do it all, the one who helped others. It was difficult to be on the receiving end of help.
Panic crept into my thoughts. I became fearful that my disease would strip away all my independence.
God reminded me He can do all things. My strength may fail, but His strength is limitless. “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Relying on others is still hard. But relying on God has become my delight. Throughout each day, there are many opportunities to benefit from His loving assistance.
Thankfully, God helped me see His outstretched hand.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I can’t do it all. Praise God, He can!
Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You for mercifully shifting my reliance on self to You. Grant me wisdom to know when I should seek assistance from friends and family members. Help me graciously accept help from others. Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki Chandler understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
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What do you have to rely on others to do? What have you learned to relinquish to God?