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Let Him Help: It's Ok To Be Needy

I think I win the award for world’s most disconnected resume.


Among just a few of the listings I could mention under “Job History” include:

  • Icecream Scooper

  • Nanny

  • Soccer/Lacrosse Coach

  • Waitress

  • Segment Coordinator for a National TV Show

  • Gas Station Attendant

  • Events Coordinator

  • Tutor


That’s not even the entire list. 


But let me bring you into the one thing that brings all of them together, in a sense:

At the time, in each of these roles, I felt needed.


The boys I babysat needed me to tie their soccer cleats and make them dinner. The small, beach town ice cream shop needed my open availability to tend to their crazy summer lines. The kids I coached needed someone to believe in them and push them to the next level. And the locals needed me to put $20 on pump #4 so they could head to their next destination. 


With each title I had, I simultaneously held the knowledge and experience others needed in some way, shape, or form (even if it didn’t feel like it at the time…).


So, when I became a tutor for a high school student who could care less if I showed up or not, it hurt a little bit. 


At first, his constant refusal to answer my questions or even look me in the eye led me to want to give up. I thought he’d be excited to have someone who could help him organize his day and understand the subjects he struggled with a bit better.


Boy, I was wrong.


He was not excited about my presence at all. 

Until one day, after weeks of attempting to break down barriers and relate to him on a basis that he preferred, he finally opened up. 


Slowly, but surely, he let me into his world. He started telling me about his interests and hobbies and eventually, as he began to trust me more and more, he opened up about his struggles. I didn’t force it out of him. I just kept showing up to remind him that I wanted to be there.


And when he finally started asking me for advice, or attempting the academic exercises I would create to help him grow, it was the greatest feeling in the world. He was finally receiving the help I could offer.


Contrary to what he may have initially believed, I wasn’t mad that he wasn’t performing well in school. I wasn’t even mad when he eventually did ask me for help - a signal that illustrated the appearance of an area of struggle for him.


I was actually hurt that he was struggling for so long before reaching out and receiving that help. 


I wonder if God feels that way, too.


I wonder if the shame of my imperfection that is keeping me from approaching God is the very thing He wants me to come to Him with so He can help me through it.


I wonder if my skewed view of Him waiting with crossed arms for me to fix my own brokenness is blocking the true image of Him waiting with open arms to envelop that brokenness together.


Why do we see neediness as such a weakness when it is the very thing that keeps us dependent on God?

He created us to need Him. And He wants to sit with us, in all of our imperfection so that He can help us in a personal way.


I didn’t need the boy I tutored to show me good grades. It would be kind of silly, honestly, if I showed up knowing that my role was to help and I realized he actually didn't need help.


I knew his need, and I didn't look down on him for it. I wanted to help him grow in confidence. I wanted him to see the smart, funny, caring boy I saw.


Obviously, the boy wasn't thrilled to initially admit he needed help, and I think we approach God that same way sometimes, too. I know I do. I think He needs me to be perfect and put-together before I ask him for anything. I think He needs me to do everything right in order to love me.


But that would mean that God is dependent on my behavior. And that would combat the truth that His love is unconditional and that He is self-sufficient.


God doesn’t need anything from us. But He wants a relationship with us.

He wants to see us grow and see ourselves through His lens.


 

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.


Acts 17:24-27

 

It seems so simple, but the verse “And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything” really hit me when I read it.


When I hide from God in imperfection, I am suggesting that He is dependent on my perfection.


When I allow anxiety to convince me that I am not enough, I am really believing that His grace isn’t enough.


And when I don’t allow God to help me in the voids I am so acutely aware of, I am not allowing Him to hold the title of Jehovah Jireh - my provider. 


It is in the vulnerable presentation of my gaps that His presence lovingly fills those spaces with grace and comfort.


He created us for relationship. Verse 27 confirms that:

“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”


He is always present, but we rarely access His presence because shame keeps us from reaching out. 

How it must break His heart when He longs for us to need him, yet we pridefully label “being needy” as a weakness.


There is such a beautiful relationship that blossoms when we humbly admit that we do need Jesus. And what freedom there is found in releasing the pressure to be perfect, replacing it with the ability to come as we authentically are.


God doesn’t need anything from us, and yet He longs to sit with us, anyway. Not the perfect version of us, but simply us. The messy us. The imperfect us. The broken us.

There will never be a time when we don’t need Him, which means there will never be a time when we can present a perfect version of ourselves.


In our humanity, we will always carry some sort of brokenness. But in His love for us, we will never have to carry it alone.


Wherever you are hurting today, know that you can be honest with Jesus about it.
Whatever shame is keeping you hidden, know that His grace will always be enough.

And whatever lie you are believing that is keeping you from receiving everything you need, know that He loves you so much, and He’s waiting and willing to fill every void with open arms.

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