Asking for Help is Hard
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
For the those struggling with an addiction, asking for help isn’t easy. We keep our secrets in the dark for a reason – they’re embarrassing. We feel we can’t ask for help because this will expose us to judgement and sometimes, we even blame others for our condition. It would be easier to get help if people weren’t so condemning.
This was a problem for me in my addiction. I knew that asking for help would drag my secrets into the light. Still, this was not the biggest obstacle to my recovery. I wanted to blame others for my failure to get help, but my worst barrier was simply my desire to avoid change. Asking for help was hard because I was afraid of what it would take to find a new life.
Yes, I was miserable in my addiction, but still I clung to it. I knew that getting sober meant that I’d have to tell my wife and go to treatment. I’d probably have to leave my job. Worst of all, I was going to have to learn to do life without my drugs. All of that was just too much. I wanted sobriety someday, but I simply couldn’t do what it took to begin that journey. So, I remained addicted, day after day, until I tore everything apart.
In today’s passage, the author of Hebrews exhorted us to draw near to God’s throne of grace when we’re in need. He wasn’t concerned with the embarrassment of asking for help or our fear of change. He simply said that when we’re in need, we must go to God.
This seems like an easy, non-threatening thing to do. I don’t need to tell anyone about my addiction. I don’t need to go to treatment. I just need to tell God. The danger in going to God though, is that he’s profoundly interested in my transformation. Change is often painful. I went God but I wanted to avoid treatment. God insisted that I go. In honestly asking God for help, I don’t get to pick and choose how that help comes. That kind of my way attitude reveals that I’m still in control and haven’t really approached God’s throne.
If we truly desire transformation, we must go to God, requesting his help. Then though, we must be willing to do whatever he asks of us. God always has our best interests in mind, but frequently that lies in conflict with what we think we want. Often, we refuse to ask for help, simply because we’re afraid of what that may look like.