I know Michelle brought up this question on her blog lately, but it's been on my mind more and more over the past couple of weeks, especially as I have been watching a few different friends struggle by themselves.
Why is it so hard for some people to accept help?? I find it so frustrating to hear someone I really care about talking about their burdens or even just venting their feelings of discouragement and inadequacy, and yet never be willing to accept any help to lighten the load. It's not that help isn't available, just that they don't see the need for it, or are unwilling to change the way they do things enough to accept the help. I can totally understand the whole mentality of wanting to take care of things yourself. I'm also rather fond of my friend Louann's saying "Just suck it up!" But there are times in our lives when we can't just "suck it up" or take care of it all by ourselves. Sometimes the circumstances are such that we aren't physically able to do what we want, sometimes it's a crushing mental burden, and sometimes we take on so much that we literally push ourselves to the point of exhaustion and depression.
It's at these times that we need to be strong enough to ask for and accept help! It's not strength to be "taking care of it all" and actually be letting things take us over! That's pride. That's an unwillingness to acknowledge that we might just be one of the weak things of this world, and that God made us that way so that we would have to depend on help from others. I think it includes a certain amount of closed-mindedness also. We like to think that OUR way is the best/only way and we aren't open to the idea that other people might have better ways of getting things done. I think that God appreciates when we are willing to come to Him with our burdens and trust in Him to help, but sometimes I think that we look past the fact that the help He sent was the people around us volunteering to carry our burden with us!
I don't know if I'll be able to take my own advice when the time comes that I really need help, but I sincerely hope that I can remember all the times that I wished someone else would accept my offers of help and be willing to give those people who are there for me the opportunity to serve.
(And yes, I'm aware of the need to just DO service for others without them having to ask, but the situations I'm dealing with are ones where they aren't even open to that!!)