Posts Tagged ‘help’

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise.  Proverbs 6:6

ant-44588_1280I watched in wonder at the scene laying out a few inches from my feet. As some ants scurried in a line over the sidewalk to carry minute morsels back to their mound, one little ant dragged a piece of straw three times his length. At first the others skirted around him coming and going. I could almost hear their grumbling. “Look at that guy?” “Leave it to Joe to drag a stupid twig.” “Please, can’t he fall in line?”

On he trudged with his prize, not wavering in his quest. (I guess it was a “he”.) What tenacity. Finally, when he got to the entrance he stopped. How to get a stiff, horizontal piece of straw to bend and fit perpendicularly down that hole? He tried. Failed.Tried. Failed.

I held my breath. I almost reached down to help, then thought better of that idea. I might get stung!

Soon, three more ants came to his aid. Then a few others. The small stick  became covered with insects, each lending their strength to the task. At last, enough of them tugged, lifted and dragged the straw into their nest.

I cheered. People stared. Shrugging, I continued my walk.

But I saw a God-lesson in it. If we don’t give up, if we keep trying our hardest, eventually we will be able to proclaim, as Paul says: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7  Yet, Paul admitted he couldn’t do it alone. He had help from God, and from his followers.

There will be times we may have to accept help—just like that ant. If you are faced with a task and it is harder than you thought it might be, will you accept assistance, or stubbornly hiss between your teeth that you are bound and determine to do it yourself? I think sometimes God sends others to help us not only to benefit us, but them as well.

I wonder if the ants celebrated and patted each other on the back? Who knows? But, I bet like me, God cheered.

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I went to a Toastmasters club meeting last night. It is a brand new club and I am one of the mentors, so these folk are already near and dear to my heart.  One speech was given by a man who said his message was on his T-shirt. It showed one man stretching his arm as far as he could over a brick wall to touch the hand of another crouched below on the ground.  It said ,”The only time a brother looks down on another is to help lift him up.”

I saw that T-shirt and I saw God. It reminded me of that famous Sistine Chapel painting by Michaelangelo with God stretching out to touch Adam, who is barely lifting up his hand in response.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, what was on that T-shirt should be our motto. God reached down for us to lift us up when His Son stretched out His arms on the cross for our sins. God knew we could never, because of our fallen nature, reach up to Him on our own merit and through our own efforts.  All we have to do is grab on. Simple, but not always easy. But once we do, and He carries us over that brick wall, we can then be in the position to help others do the same.

There are times when circumstances has weighed down our brothers and sisters so deeply that they do not feel they can get back up. That is when we must be Christ’s hands and show His love. It may be in the gift of money, a smile and hug, a physical helping hand to do a chore, give them a ride or be their advocate. Maybe it is just providing a shoulder on which they can cry.

Perhaps they will refuse our out-stretched hand, and God’s love. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t offer. If they will not let us lift them up over the wall in their life, then we are called to lift them up in prayer. After all, God is the ultimate wall-crasher.

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