Yesterday I shared an epiphany I had after giving birth in Lessons from Labor and Delivery. Follow me today on the next part of my journey.
So as I laid around waiting… and waiting for this baby to be born I pretty much had to rely on people to do everything for me. From flipping me in the bed to making decisions on the best course of action. I had to rely on my husband, my mom, my doctor and my nurses. I was at the mercy of pretty much everyone.
That’s a position most of us don’t like to be in. In fact, only yesterday, I heard my mother say, “I just like to do things for myself.” Is that you? It’s me with a lot of things. I just as soon do it myself and get it done they way I want. But then God put me into a situation where I simply could NOT do anything for myself. Which lead me to the next lesson I learned in the delivery room that day.
Lesson #2: God wants me to surrender to others, ask for help, and allow him to bless me through their service.
Read this excerpt from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi:
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.
At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.
Paul recognizes that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We love to quote that part of the verse because it empowers us to be able to reach unobtainable goals. But Paul goes on and shows how Christ practically met his needs through other Christians.
I love that. Christ was in it all. He was in the financial support, the gifts and the messengers. Those offerings to Paul were a “sweet-smelling sacrifice that [were] acceptable and pleasing to God.” Paul acknowledged their gifts because he wanted them to receive a blessing back from God.
So the next time you are tempted to reject help, keep silent about your need, or just do it yourself, remember that Christ is waiting to bless you through others. And keep in mind their offering to you is their offering to their God. Your stifling of their blessing could also stifle their reward.
Now go… and allow yourself to be served today.