The recent ice storm was not very kind to my trees. In fact, it was brutal. The freezing rain we endured several days in a row covered every branch and every leaf and just kept building and building through the week. Finally, the branches started snapping. One branch bigger than my leg gave way and blocked the driveway from one side to another. As I looked at that mess, I wondered how long it would take to get it cleaned up with my little pruning saw. The task seemed overwhelming. But as I started working on sorting things out, my neighbor came over with his chain saw and offered to help. I hemmed and hawed a little bit, professing that I could take care of it all by myself. He persisted, “Please, I don’t mind.” I finally relented and let him help. It was the best decision I made all week. Working together, we got things cleaned up pretty quick. I noticed the same thing going on throughout my neighborhood this week; there were many broken limbs and yes, many neighbors helping each other.
As I reflected on all the tree limbs which were broken by ice storm, I thought about how far too often, we are weighted down by the stresses and struggles of life. We keep trying to hold up, we keep trying to bear the weight, but it seems to build and build and eventually, it can become too much. And when it does, we break in some form or fashion. It may be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual…or a combination thereof. And as we start to assess the situation, it seems overwhelming. We wonder how we will ever get things sorted out. We become so focused on the hassle in front of us, that we forget about the help around us. And far too often we face all our troubles and all our headaches all by ourselves. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Please know that no matter what type of mess you may be facing, there is always someone who is willing to come alongside of you and help you and support you. Maybe it’s not broken tree limbs that you’re dealing with, maybe it’s a broken heart or a broken spirit. Please, don’t give up hope…and don’t turn down help. You don’t have to face overwhelming situations all by yourself. Reach out. Speak up. There are friends, neighbors, and family members who will help you and support you. I know because I have seen them helping others all week long. And I know that with the Lord’s leading and guiding, He will provide someone to help you.