Daily Gospel Reflection for January 12, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17

When I consider Jesus’ baptism, I’m always struck by John’s protest. “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”

It’s how I feel, so often, when I’m in the position of needing help. On my 30th birthday, I broke my first bone. In the six weeks that followed, I learned humility in a whole new way.

There was the parade of friends and fellow parishioners who brought me dinner. There was the friend who showed up and washed my dishes (we didn’t have a dishwasher). There was the family member who watched my toddler so that I could rest or work or vent.

It wasn’t easy to agree to all this help. I am, after all, an enlightened and independent woman. Or I was, before I became a mother and then broke my arm.

Now, I think, I’m just a student of humility, along with a host of other women. I’m bumbling along, trying to offer help and—far harder—graciously accept the help that’s offered.

Once again, Jesus shows me how it’s done. He’s patient. He’s gentle. And I can’t help but think he has a sense of humor about it all.

Ponder:

How can you say Yes with grace and gentleness to an offer of help? How can you bless someone else by letting them give?

Pray:

Lord, I’m going to need a LOT of help here. I want to desire this, but it goes against everything that’s so deeply ingrained in me. Help me to let go of my need for independence and accept blessing you want to give me. Guide me in accepting help from others and doing so with a loving and gracious heart.

Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard

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8 Comments

  1. I’m with you. It’s easier to give help than to receive it. When my kids were young and we were going through some difficult times financially, my husband had us go and live with his parents for a few months. I was much more independent than that, and it was incredibly difficult for me. I do believe the lesson in humility was invaluable.

  2. Amen sister! I think this is an issue for so many of us moms, but really women in general – we’ve been taught to be strong and independent, so we view any needing of help (or even accepting a gracious offer when we don’t really need it) as a sign of weakness. And yet, we know how blessed we feel when we offer loving help to someone else. So why not given them this same grace? Last week when I was in Reno, the kind man who drove me to the airport scolded me for not letting him open the door for me. I mean a true scolding! “Women these days don’t know how to be treated by a gentleman!” kind of scolding. I realized afterwards how self-sufficient I have become, perhaps even to the point of pride. Thanks for giving me something great to pray through today! You are a blessing.

  3. Your prayer made me ponder my own difficulty in not only accepting help from people but in the equally difficult task of asking God for help. We are taught to have an independent spirit – thank you for reminding me to pray for the Grace – because that is truly the key to making these changes!!

  4. My husband said just the other day that I wasn’t very good at accepting help !!! With a 6th baby due any day and hormones sure to be raging I will need to work on that one !!!!

  5. It helps in this battle to “receive gracefully” if we just stop for a minute and realize we might be taking away an opportunity for someone who has been called to serve. Great post Sarah job Sarah!

  6. Real love is willing the good of the other, and that good is sometimes to let the other be a gift to us! If we can remember that it gives them joy, I find it is easier to be on the receiving end! Jesus Himself allowed people to help and console Him ( the woman who washed his feet with her tears, and Simon helped carry His cross). Thanks for the gentle reminder Sarah, to ask for the grace to receive.

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