Learning a new skill
by Jo-Anne Berthelsen.
I have discovered I am quite an independent person. I don’t like to admit even to myself that I need help. And I certainly don’t like asking for it. To me, it seems I am inconveniencing others or treating them as less than equal when I burden them with this or that mundane request. Yet it’s something I have had to do in recent times.
I came home from hospital last week, after having a back operation. While there, I felt very blessed by the gracious way the doctors and nurses attended to my every need. I recall with thankfulness how my lovely neurosurgeon came to explain what he was about to do just prior to my operation. I remember the patience of the nurse who tried to make me comfortable that first difficult night after the operation. I am so grateful for the one who helped me take my first shower and for the kind physio who walked slowly alongside me as I took my first steps outside my room. And all the while, I was learning a new skill—that of humbly receiving help.
Here at home, I am still learning. I now realise the folly of trying to get up from our too low lounge without calling for help from my husband. And I know I can’t change that dressing in the middle of my back myself. I am getting used to giving simple cooking instructions without feeling I should just get up and do it myself, rather than allow my husband to stumble through unknown culinary territory! I have had to learn to receive wonderful casseroles from a loving daughter who is so tired herself as she prepares for the birth of their second child. And with grace, I accepted that lovely bag of goodies left on our doorstep by a friend who has so much illness to deal with in her own family.
Already I can see something of what God is teaching me. I am beginning to allow others to do their job and not intervene. I am beginning to learn to show gratitude for their servant heart and to value who they are more fully. I am beginning to receive that love others want to show me as they minister to my needs. And I am beginning to learn to ask for help more readily, knowing this does not make me any less of a person and realising I can in fact bless the one who helps.
And finally it is beginning to dawn on me that I am learning something about my relationship with God through all this as well. It is God’s heart to care for me—and that heart is so full of perfect love, compassion, patience and healing. As my loving Father, God sees my every need and delights to use all sorts of means to provide for me. It is a huge lesson all over again in receiving from God’s gracious hand. And I am learning to rest in the midst of it and open my heart to all that wonderful healing mercy that’s coming my way right now.
How about you? Is it time for you to learn to receive too?
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18