Recently I was talking to my best friend on the phone and during our conversation he shared a story that really spoke to me. I was so moved that I asked him to put his story into words so I could share it with you today….
What happens when life presents circumstances that we find too difficult to handle on our own? The men I know find themselves in this situation far more often than they generally like to admit. For those who are married, it’s not unusual for the carrier of this message to be their wives.
The message is simple. You don’t know how much someone might want to be involved in your life until you ask.
The most difficult thing for me is the “ask.” I know I share this attribute with many men. As a general rule, I like to get things done without assistance. Be it mowing the lawn, changing a tire, or even completing a work assignment, I like to come through when it counts. Does this sound familiar?
But here is the problem: sometimes I can’t do it.
Particularly when faced with a money problem, I can’t make more of it grow in my bank account by watering it. (I’ve tried.) If my family has a big expense hitting, and we’ve already depleted our savings the month before with another major expense, what do we do? I don’t have what I don’t have! Do I let my precious 2-year-old daughter sit without the care she needs because I can’t pay?
I was ready to do just that one day recently when my wife spoke up in desperation. Sometimes that’s what it takes to reach me when I’m being stubborn. She simply asked me to call someone we both knew for help. We suspected this person was of substantial means, and perhaps might even be happy to help.
But that “ask.” Good grief. This means I’ll have to ask for help!
Long story short: I got myself off the hook by telling myself that it was really my wife wanting me to do this. I even led with that idea: “My wife wanted me to call…” Some strong man, huh? I called the benefactor and asked for help, and received the loan I needed. But then he spoke up with a smile on his face (okay, we were on the phone, but I know this man well and I could tell): “Don’t pay me back.”
I was reduced to tears at the generosity he showed. Without divulging details, I’ll simply say that it was thousands of dollars he just…offered. I owed thousands that I couldn’t pay. And then in one brief moment, I just…didn’t owe it anymore.
What do you say to that?
You see, I have a grace problem. I don’t understand the grace that Jesus has shown me until I have it allegorically presented to me in a way that I can understand. I’m a CPA by trade, and I tend to understand things in terms of money. I believe God knows this, does not judge me, and chooses to reveal himself to me through circumstances.
I had no choice but to understand Jesus’ grace for me that day. And again, I was reduced to tears.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” – Eph. 2:8