Monday, January 29, 2024

Giving and Receiving Help

 By: Joanne Viola

We all love to be the person who comes alongside of the one needing help. We can lend an ear and listen, maybe provide an answer, solution, or encouragement. We can prepare a meal and bring it over. Send a surprise to be delivered. A simple phone call, hearing a friendly or compassionate voice on the other end can be the most needed gift of all. And sometimes it can be found in seeing the familiar handwriting of a dear friend on the envelop in our mailbox.

Any of these can bring such joy to our hearts to be able to offer help. But harder still is to be the one who needs to ask for help.


In a recent conversation, I heard it said that the person did not want to talk because the tears would start. The person needed a listening ear and yet did not want to ask for help.

There are times we need the support of one another. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines support as:

  • to assist, to help
  • to hold up.

But the definition I was recently drawn to was this one:

to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage.”

Asking for support is not a sign of failure or weakness. It is a sign of recognizing we cannot do or get through on our own.

It brought to mind the story found in Scripture of the paralytic man. Unable to walk to get to Jesus, his four friends carried him. Unable to get him through the crowd to Jesus, the idea came to lower him down through the roof.

And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed;
and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him.
But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher,
into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus.

(Luke 5:16-17, NASB)

These friends did what was necessary to achieve their goal for their friend. They had the idea and they had the faith to carry our their plan.

But what about the paralytic?

We are not told if he asked his friends to bring him to Jesus. We do know he had to accept their help. He had to let them carry him all the way. He had to watch as they removed the roof on the house and hauled him up on the roof. He had to lay still as they lowered him down to Jesus.

Jesus seeing the faith of the friends does two things for the paralytic – He forgives his sins and heals him so that he is able to get up and walk home.

The man received his healing. And the friends? Somehow I think they went home celebrating and excitedly talking about the adventure they had just witnessed.

It all occurred because four friends wanted to help their friend; and one man was willing to accept the help of his friends.

Sometimes we need the support
of one another to keep us
“from fainting, yielding, or losing courage


Are you the one in need of help? What is keeping you from asking for the help you need?
Or do you see someone to whom you can offer help? What can you do to support or encourage them?


Image by Natalia Lavrinenko from Pixabay



  1. As one who must ask for help at present due to a fractured vertebra and bulging disc I found this post right on the nail and it helped me get my attitude right!
    Thank you and God bless you, dear Joanne

    1. Mary, you are such a blessing and encouragement. If I lived near you, I would run errands for you and sit and have a visit too. Think of asking for help as providing an opportunity to others to be a blessing. May the Lord bring healing quickly. I'll be praying for you. {{hugs}}


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