He’s the biggest man in our church, possibly the biggest in the county.
Big Josh, his beautiful wife, and two precious children are faithful members of our church. (This devotional isn’t about their miracle babies, but there’s a story there, too. Those babies were literally prayed into this world!) 🙂
Big Josh likes to help people, and he’s good at it. You’d be hard pressed to find a member of our congregation he hasn’t helped in one way or another. At my daycare alone, he’s built fences, fixed the sewer, mended exploding pipes (another great story, but if I go there, this devotional will get WAY too long!), patched up holes in walls, and fixed several other things my active daycare kiddos have managed to break. 🙂
I remember when Big Josh came over to hang my son’s punching bag in the basement. After he left, my son exclaimed, “Mum! You should have seen it! He lifted the punching bag with ONE ARM!”
Yes, he’s a strong man.
But not strong enough to win a battle on his own that he’s been fighting for quite some time.
Josh was saved as a young man, but he’d be the first to tell you he strayed away from the Lord awhile. And some habits die hard. Really, really hard.
He never tried to hide the fact that he smoked. We didn’t judge him. Our church is full of broken, imperfect people who are under the blood of Jesus. We all have our failings, short-comings, and problems.
No, we didn’t judge him.
But we didn’t want to lose him, either. We lost his dad a few years back, and the doctor said Josh was heading down the same road if he didn’t quit smoking.
Josh tried for a long time to quit. Tried and failed.
Finally, he asked the church to pray for him. The biggest, strongest man in our church admitted that he wasn’t strong enough to fight this battle on his own. He needed his brothers and sisters to fight with him.
And so we prayed. And prayed. And prayed some more.
We knew he was getting close to quitting. We knew he’d cut out a lot of his “daily quota.”
And so we kept on praying.
I remember the afternoon his wife texted me that he’d smoked the last one. He was done.
I did a little happy dance right there in my daycare kitchen.
And the rejoicing at church when he announced that he had conquered his habit! God had answered our prayers. Our brother was free from the chains that had held him for so many years. We were THRILLED!
My friend, you were never meant to walk the road of life alone. You were never meant to fight your battles without the help of your brothers and sisters in Jesus.
You’re just not strong enough. None of us are.
Oh, we like to think we can fight the good fight of faith on our own. We like to think we are strong enough to face every temptation, be victorious over every sin, and never get discouraged in our walk of faith.
But the truth is, God gave us each other for a reason.
My friend, if you are struggling with a battle on your own today, don’t be too strong too ask for help.
Stop the striving, stop the fighting, stop the struggling. You don’t have to fight on your own.
I believe we have this “asking for help” thing all mixed up. We think it shows strength to tough it out on our own.
When really, the strongest thing we can do is admit our weakness and ask for help.
We are stronger together. We are strongest when we are in the trenches together, when we have each other’s backs.
We are strongest when we are holding each other up in prayer, when we are close enough to help each other back up when we stumble.
So if you need help today, ask for it. Reach out to a trusted friend and ask them to pray with you and for you. Find an accountability partner if you are struggling with temptation. Seek out prayer support from your church family.
Don’t be too strong to ask for help.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)