I can be prideful and not ask for help even when it’s evident that I need it. My stubbornness will keep me moving forward despite exhaustion, frustration and the internal pity party that plays in my head. As soon as one obligation or project is complete, I will immediately fill that empty time with another. He hasn’t ever said it, but I know that it drives my husband crazy! I prefer to work things out on my own, seeking collaboration only if I have hit a brick wall several times on my own and have finally admitted to myself that I could use some input. Self-starter, self-motivated, and self-destructive.
During His ministry, Jesus established working together as a group. That’s an area that I lack in. Not that I can’t be a team player. When I am in a setting where I am coming under someone else’s authority I will follow the lead and work with those around me. I’m sincere in my efforts to help others accomplish their goals. For me, the difficulty comes when it’s my concept. Since I had the idea, I am responsible for all aspects, from development to deployment. I have always looked at that as being responsible but I’m beginning to see that it’s a fear driven pride. Basically, I trust myself to not abandon myself.
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:
“‘May his place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and,
“‘May another take his place of leadership.’
Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed,“Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
When the 11 disciples were betrayed by Judas; yes, they were betrayed as well; they knew that they needed to find another to be added to the group. They didn’t retreat in distrust of others because of the betrayal of one. They stayed focused on the responsibility they had, and they understood that the duty of spreading the Gospel was more important than their own insecurities. Everything that Jesus did was purposeful and beneficial, therefore I can’t discount the importance of support when entering into any major endeavor, especially when it comes to the work of God. That is too big of a task for anyone to try to take on alone. The disciples needed the support from other believers as the began their walk down an unknown path.
In the past few months, it has become apparent to my husband and myself that we need help. It wasn’t our epiphany but one revealed to us through our time in prayer and seeking God for direction. We started to search out help, but quickly dismissed it after a few negative responses. So we hit a rut in the road and called off the entire trip. As I am typing this the absurdity of our lack of stamina frustrates me. We know better … I know better! The calling given to Scott and I to reach out to those struggling with their marriage is not an area of service we chose. In fact, we rebelled a bit in the beginning, attempting to remind God of why we weren’t qualified to offer encouragement to anyone else. God had something different in mind and He has continued to equip us because we have said yes.
We pray consistently for God to reveal to us those who are in need. Those that He would have us reach out to and point them to the only One who can resurrect dead marriages. Every time a couple chooses to invite God into their marriage and they remain committed to it Scott and I have the privilege of sitting in the front row to watch as God does it again – takes ashes and exchanges them for beauty. There are those who are stubborn, and no matter how many times they hear the suggestions, there is always an excuse of why they aren’t doing it. Either they just don’t have the time because they are too busy, or they tried it for a week and nothing changed. Keep trying!!!!!! But I digress ….
The point is that as God leads us to new places, He typically starts adding more people on that path to strengthen the impact. Going it alone is not a God ordained strategy. He always refers to His people as a flock. Yet the enemy is referred to as the wolf alone in the darkness waiting to attack and devour. We will all experience times when we are alone and have no choice in that. During those times our dependance on God grows deeper because He is truly the only one available to us. But when we are in a position to band together with others to further the mission of the Kingdom we ought not … I ought not … to dismiss the purpose and benefit of shared vision.