The Need (A Risky Revelation)
Today is another one of those moments where the reality of the struggle is so real, I can taste it in my mouth. It is so tangible that the "ropes of trouble" are felt around us.
I have been honest with you all along, I tend to wear my heart outside for all to see. Except, when it comes to the reality of when I am in need. My greatest weakness is PRIDE and not wanting to let others know anything is wrong. It goes against every fiber in my body, but as I mature a little, I have started to realize my pride is rooted in my selfishness. The reason I don't want to share a need I have is because I don't want to appear needy. Isn't that a struggle we all have, especially in our American Culture? Even more so, in the American Christian Culture.
We tend to drastically fail in attending to each others needs, but mostly because we fail to let others know we are in need. So today, I am forced to lay aside my pride and selfishness and tell you, "We are in Need!"
But God, in His unique way, has specifically told us to not tell anyone what the specific need is. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of interpreting that as "never let anyone know you have a need." Today, through one of my sheep, He has shown me the difference.
As I was leaving the farm, I saw a sheep staggering and struggling. She was desperate for help, but as I approached, she did her best to run. However, it was clear she was in BIG trouble. I took her in and have done my best to treat her, but the truth is, she may not survive. Why? Because she, like all sheep, hid her struggle until it was almost too late. I saw her yesterday and she appeared fine, but the truth is, she was most likely already struggling, but in pride she held her head high not wanting to reveal she needed help.
So here goes!
We are in NEED! Although I cannot fill in the details, I realize now that you are our family and you need to know the truth. We are facing some BIG needs right in front of us. Needs that will require some difficult decisions if things do not change very quickly.
God knows how big, and in fact, to Him they are tiny. However, to us, they are HUGE. The reason they seem so big is because of the duration of this particular trial we have been in. In a twist of events, I now realize the duration has a lot to do with my unwillingness to clue our family (you) in on the fact there was a need. I just did the American Male thing and tried putting my head down and plow my way through it.
So, now that you know we have a need, the question many will ask is "How can I help?" Here is my answer:
That is where I must leave it to you and God to answer the question, "How can I be a part?" Again, I have been freed to share we have needs, but not free to share what the exact needs are. God knows. So I would ask you to spend time asking Him how you can help. Take time to Enjoy The Shepherd and trust Him to reveal to you what part you are to play. Whatever He shows you, then all I trust He will lead you through it.
My hope in sharing this with you is this; that you will have the opportunity to learn from Him directly. I enjoy teaching, but my heart has always been to lead you to His feet so He could teach you more of Himself. I believe that is His desire in this situation as well because He longs to speak to you personally and take you one step deeper in your walk with Him.
As an ironic twist to the end of this message to you, my wife just came to me while I was typing and needed helping opening a jar. We just had a big belly laugh about 4 days ago when she asked my help in opening a nail polish jar. That day I poked at her muscles jokingly and she was not as humored by it as I was, although she laughed. Today, she turned to me for help, but stopped when she remembered what happened 4 days back and with all her might, she unsuccessfully tried to open the jar on her own. When she handed it to me, I easily opened it, we laughed again, and then it hit me!
That is what I have been trying to do this whole time by not asking for your help. I am trying to "open this jar" on my own, when there is strength in the multitudes who are praying, especially when we are seeking God to "open the jar" for us.
So, today, Katie and I, together ask you, will you help open our jar? We are in need and only God can do what needs to be done. We long to be free to do what He has called us to do, but we cannot do it alone! He made us a body for a reason, to work together to accomplish His mission!
Will you please pray for our needs, ask God what He would have you do, and ask Him to show you how we could team up and seek His face together. When the victory is won (and I know it will be), then our hearts will share in the celebration of the victory He WILL win on our behalf!
Thanks in Advance for loving us enough to seek His face regarding this need and for loving us enough to pray with us!
Ray and Katie