On Saturday of this past weekend, I went out to cut down a dead limb on an old oak tree in our yard. At first I didn't think it was going to be a big deal so I leaned a ladder up against the tree and went up to survey what needed to happen. As I approached the limb, it became obvious to me that this job was going to be much bigger than I had imagined.
The limb in question was about 14" in diameter and approximately 30' long with lots of other limbs coming out of it. I realized that if I attempted this on my own, the limb could swing down and take out the ladder or fall on me and crush me, neither of which sounded good.
So, I called out my wife Connie for her perspective. She said, "Go get Mike next door and ask for his help." I found this hard to do because I just wanted to tackle this problem on my own. But, I finally relented and called Mike. Mike, filled with much more wisdom than me, took one look at the situation and said, "There is no way you should do that on your own! I'll ask my son to come take a look."
Mike's son came over with a huge boom truck and positioned a guy right above the branch and within a half an hour the limb was on the ground and cut into manageable pieces. I began stacking some of the wood and as I carried some of the little logs I realized that each piece was very heavy. Combined, the limb was probably well over 1 ton. Boy, am I glad I asked for help!
Then on Sunday during my God time, He showed me something in Nehemiah 1:4, "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." The very first thing Nehemiah did was ask for help from God. The first thing I typically do is bear down and work harder thinking that I can handle this on my own. To me, God was telling me I need to rely on Him more and seek His guidance (as Nehemiah was doing above) and quit trying to do things all on my own.
Then at church, we learned about the life of Joshua, a great leader who regularly took his "stuff" to God to get direction, guidance and help. Our pastor said that God basically says to us, "You can grind away on your own if you want or you can bring it to Me and I will help you."
So, I think God might be trying to teach me something...to rely on Him more and to go to Him first before doing anything on my own! How about you?