Please don’t turn away from this post because you think it doesn’t apply to you.

I guarantee that a year ago I wouldn’t have taken the time to read this. I would have considered myself an independent person who didn’t need to rely on the help of others under most circumstances.

And then I had my first round of chemo.

My husband and I very quickly learned that we were going to need lots and lots of help. There were days when I could not get out of bed to take a shower, much less carry on with necessary household duties, or grocery shopping, or even walking to the mailbox. And he couldn’t take four months off from work.

We had to learn to ask for help, and we had to learn to graciously accept help when it was offered.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! 1 John 4:11-12, The Message

Until recently, I had never really considered what is implied in God’s command for us to love one another (which is really a call to unselfish service) – there has to be someone there to love, and to serve! Just as God expects ME to love and serve others out of His great love and sacrifice for me, He expects that I will receive love and service from others.

Our modern mindsets encourage us to think that we have to be brave enough to do it on our own, that life is best lived in isolation, when all along God is telling us that we are designed to live in community. We are designed to love and serve, and then to receive love and service.

So I would argue that sometimes the brave thing to do is to openly admit that we need help. We need one another. We need love and support from our friends. This isn’t weakness, it is real life. We come alongside our friends in their time of need to build them up, and in turn, they should do the same for us. It is a mutual give and take.

Where do you find yourself today? Do you need to offer help to a friend, or do you need to graciously ask for and receive help for yourself? Loving and serving others is part of God’s design for our lives.