Mary enjoys doing puzzles. She especially likes doing the harder puzzles, ones with 100 pieces. The problem is that she can't really do these puzzles by herself, so she asks me, "Will you help me do a puzzle?" Then I sit down and do the puzzle while she watches. It occurred to me one day that I'm not really "helping" her; I'm doing it for her.
I wonder if we act like Mary with some of our problems, asking for God's help when we really just want Him to do it for us.
"Lord, please help me get up earlier," when I consistently turn off the alarm and stay in bed.
"Lord, please help me not to yell at my children," then I ignore their misbehavior until I'm so frustrated that I yell at them.
"Lord, please help me to lose weight," when I keep buying and making foods that are not conducive to losing weight.
Do we really want God's help, or do we just want Him to do it for us? If He does it for us, though, we don't learn anything. And He gives us all the help we need.
I can set my alarm across the room so that I have to get out of bed to turn it off.
I can set aside whatever I'm doing to interact with my children and instruct them before resorting to yelling.
I can make healthier grocery lists.
As I discipline myself in these areas, I will also grow spiritually as I rely on the help that God has already given me. I know it's not in the Bible, but in these cases, I think it's true that "God helps those who help themselves." He's not in the business of doing things for us (other than salvation) because then we don't grow.
First, I am a child of God, adopted into His family through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Second, I am helpmeet to my husband John of sixteen years. Third, I am mother to Sarah Beth who is ten years old, to Daniel who turned nine in February, to Rachel who turned seven at the end of January, to Mary who turned five in December, and to Hannah who turned one in February.