I jogged today (okay...yesterday, because that's actually when I wrote this). I'm not a natural runner AT ALL, so for me to get out and jog nearly as much as I walked for 2 miles is a really huge accomplishment. I pushed myself...and it felt good. I'm trying to pay no mind to the fact that it took me like 32.5 minutes to do those 2 miles...even with my sad little bounce we'll call jogging. I did it, and I'm proud. Krystyn and I even decided we wanted to sign up for a 5k!!
It gave me a little time to think while I was out there...and pray. Of course, I prayed the good Lord would get me through my measly couple miles, but I also prayed about other things. I saw a cigarette butt on the ground and I prayed for the people in my life who smoke. I felt the air moving in and out of my lungs and heard the steady slap of my shoes on the pavement, and I thanked God for the ability to get out and exercise. I felt the occasional breeze on my face and heard the birds singing their summertime melodies, and I thanked Him for giving us such a beautiful planet to inhabit.
I also had some time to think about Sunday night's post. I thought about feeling powerless and needing help...and maybe even having to ASK for it. Blech. I think that's the hardest part for me. I can talk myself into accepting help when it's offered, but ASKING for help? Just the thought of it makes me cringe (seriously...full body wiggle).
I would love to say the reason I don't want to ask people for help is solely because I don't want them to go out of their way for me...and that would be partially true. But I think the other side of that is I just plain don't like admitting I need help. I like my independence. I like knowing I can do things on my own. And those aren't bad traits. However, when you find it nearly impossible to ask for help and then, when you do, you feel totally demeaned...that's a pride issue.
The Bible has a lot to say about pride. Really...A LOT. An appropriate example:
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
I'm a single mom, and sometimes that means doing a ton of stuff on your own and feeling like you need to be able to handle everything single-handedly. On the other hand, it's sheer arrogance to think I can conquer the world alone, and God has placed beautiful, loving people in my path for a reason. Sometimes I need to just humble myself, pray, and ask for assistance. I have a feeling this is easier in theory than in practice...but I'm working on it.
I also discovered that I'm very hesitant to ask my heavenly Father for things. I hardly ever ask him for anything, and if I do, I feel guilty and as though I might be messing with His plan. Like God is going to say, "Weeeeell, this isn't really what I want, but since you asked...." No, it would just be another prayer that doesn't get filled, and then I would need to submit myself to his infinite wisdom. Right?
Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)
7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
God wants to bless me. He wants to help me. He wants to do wonderful things for me. But sometimes, He wants me to humble myself before Him and ask. He wants to see the needs and yearnings in my heart. He wants me to communicate these with Him because we have a relationship. How would a relationship with your spouse work if you never let your needs and wants be known? You'd probably be miserable. We can fall on the fact that God is omniscient, but I think he wants us to communicate with Him anyway...because he loves us and wants us to empty our hearts to Him, so in turn, He can fill them with His joy.
I'm not saying we should ask for material things necessarily. This is not a "pray for wealth" seminar. Ask for a million dollars and you shall receive. No. I'm saying I need to pour out my heart to the Lord, ask for His will, submit to His will, but still communicate the deep desires of of my heart. Only then will our relationship be whole.