1 Samuel 21:1 – Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, "Why art thou alone and no man with thee?" (KJV)

1 Corinthians 12:28 – And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (KJV)

Psalm 54:4 – Behold, God is mine helper; the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. (KJV)

Just as we've been given the ability to share our joys and happy experiences, we were not meant to face our challenges and sufferings alone. We have all been given the choice both to ask for and to offer help when in times of need.

One thing which came out during an interview I gave for an article on helping people work through their grief was that, at first, the person with whom I'd eventually volunteered had, at first, thought he could "go it alone". It is difficult for men. In our society, they've been brought up to shoulder not only their own thoughts, feelings and pain, but also that of their families.

As it is often difficult to ask for help (certainly not something exclusive to men), sometimes it is a caring friend, family member or physician who will recommend the services of organizations who have trained paid or volunteer personnel, to help people not to "get over" — for there is no "getting over" — a loss, but to work their way through to a place where they can live their lives without their loved one in it.

How richer our lives are when we share and shoulder each other's cares.

It is no different in our spiritual life — perhaps even more so, for it is our spiritual life which helps us to help each other. We must make time to take time for Him that we may make time for others.

A case in point is a weekly prayer group to which I've belonged for over three years. It was wonderful to come most Mondays and have the spiritual director guide us through a reading, and share in silent prayer, closing with the Lord's Prayer. And, yes, one of us would fill in the odd time she wasn't able to be there. This is a special time for the minister, for it is his time to enjoy prayer without the responsibility of one more commitment.

But now our spiritual director is retiring, and to continue, we must seek each other's help; we must take turns and commit to make that time to take that time to "lead for the Lord". Without her, we can manage as a group, but if we disband and each one tries to "go it alone", the chances are, the way we often find other ways to fill in our time, we will no longer continue to make that time to take that time for him.

Prayer: Grant us the courage, Father, to commit to whatever reasonable requests our daily lives present us. Keep us from always letting others shoulder the responsibility alone. Help us to take that "leap of faith" and follow "where thou wouldst lead us". In your name we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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