My 2-year-old daughter loves to help me. It’s really a wonderful thing…
Well, perhaps it would be wonderful if she was slightly more capable of actually…um, helping! She particularly longs to help me unload the dishwasher, pleading with me, “Hep, Mama! Hep, Mama!”
If only the dishes she could reach on the bottom rack weren’t the breakable ones…
It’s not particularly enjoyable to have to help someone help you. But because I don’t want to discourage her love of assisting me with tasks, I decided that’s exactly what I needed to do.
So one morning, after I emptied the bottom rack (full of breakable dishes) of the dishwasher, I called to her to come and help me. She eagerly trotted over with pitter-pattering little feet, and was delighted as I began removing the dishes, one-by-one, from the too-high-for-her top rack of the dishwasher and then handed each dish to her so she could immediately hand it right back to me. And then I finally put the dish in its proper place in our cabinets.
Confused? I was, too. It was far from simple…
The whole process was pretty hilarious to me; I was so amused that she actually thought she was helping me, when it was so obvious to me that she was actually prolonging my task and making things much more complicated than they needed to be.
And then the Holy Spirit pointed out to my heart that this is such a perfect picture of how God allows me to help Him. You see, just as my baby girl is totally incapable of emptying the dishwasher without me helping her, I am totally incapable of performing any good thing without Him helping me.
I can never give Him anything that He hasn’t first given to me.
I can never do anything that He hasn’t first completely enabled me to do.
The best I can do is run to God,
begging to help Him,
pleading with Him to give me some small task I can perform
out of love for Him.
When I do, He lovingly grants my request, calls me to help Him with a task, equips me with every single thing I need to complete that task…and then gently receives it as I give it right back to Him.
I’m definitely not doing God any favors. I’m not making anything simpler for Him. I’m not saving Him time with my assistance.
But He delights in my desire to do things for Him, because He loves me and He delights in me.
Written by Jennifer Clarke