In the daily devotion I am doing I found a new term I hadn’t thought much about. This is the scripture he used, “And you believers at Philippi know what happened when I left Macedonia. Not one church helped me in the matter of giving and receiving. You were the only one that did. That was in the early days when you first heard the good news.” Now I have always passed that scripture by not thinking about the meaning until today.
How does it make you feel when someone comes up and says to you, “I need you?” Doesn’t it make us feel important and good knowing we are needed? When do mothers have the hardest times in their lives? When kids go off to college and move out of the house. Often times a mom will stop and think she is no longer needed. She did her job, the kids have moved on and hubby is often preoccupied with other things.
One of the things that was stated in my devotion was that the crucial part of the ministry of sharing is to be able to say, “I need you.” We often can’t say that to one another. That would mean we admit to our inadequacies. We think we have failed if we admit we are in need. If we can’t admit to others we are in need others will more than likely not share their need with us.
The term I had not heard before was the confession of needs. We confess when we have done wrong. We confess to things not going well in our lives, but how many of us confess we are in need? Confess simply put means to admit, own up, or come clean about something. We are a nation that believes we can do it on our own and if we don’t or can’t then we have failed. Philippians is a book about community. I think we have lost that sense of belonging to one another. We are so busy with our lives we don’t take time to admit we need each other. We have neighbors in need of prayer, of helping out with the kids, or needing help running back and forth to the hospital for treatment; yet we can’t ask for help. If we can’t figure out how to do it on our own we won’t do it.
The ministry of sharing is another good term that is fairly new. How can I have a ministry of sharing if I don’t know others needs? If people won’t open up to me with their need how can I share? On the other side of the coin God calls us to share with one another. We are to share our burdens, our needs so we can be in the ministry of sharing; caring for one another. The ministry of sharing is often saying to one another, “You know I am not perfect I am needing help.” Sharing our needs makes us human.Sharing our needs makes us honest. Isn’t honesty what we all want in a relationship?
God meets our deepest needs. We shouldn’t turn to one another until we have turned to God and placed before Him our needs. God often times works through people. Yes, God can put your needs in my mind. I might get an urgent sense you are in need of something. I can start praying for that need. I can pray that God will take that need and fill it. Lloyd John Ogilvie says this in this morning’s devotion, “He reserves dimensions of His power to be given as we endeavor to meet each other’s needs.” Sometimes God’s power is best worked through each other.
God knew Adam needed Eve. Adam didn’t know he needed Eve, but God knew there was a need. Sometimes God knows what we need and we are given a friend.
When is the last time you told your spouse or friend you needed them? How would it make them feel if you said, “You know I need you in my life. I need you to share those good times with me, I need you to laugh with me, or cry with me or I just need you to be with me.” When is the last time you told your children they are needed? Not needed to take out the trash, or clean their rooms, but they are needed just because you love them. What kind of relationships would we have if we called our friends and said, “You know I need you in my life. You are important to me?”
Think about the relationship we’d have with God if we just took a few minutes to say, “God I need you in my life.” Too often for me I tell God I want Him in my life, seldom do I say I need Him. Telling God you need Him in your life might sound desperate, but in this day and age I do need Him in my life. Wanting something often fills a desire in your life. Saying you need something often fills a void in your life. I desperately need God because without Him I could not do this journey like He’d like me to.
The ministry of sharing is sharing not only those good times with others it is sharing our needs with others. We can’t grow in ministry if we are not able to do both. It’s not a matter of being inadequate or failure; it’s a matter of belonging to community.
The confession of needs; we make confessions all the time, but we leave out the confession of need. We think others don’t care, are too busy, or just wouldn’t want to hear our whining. God cares. He wants to hear He is needed in your life. Your community needs to hear they are needed in your life. If you aren’t in community then find community; God will bring those people into your life just like He did for Adam with Eve.
Everyone needs a sense they belong or are needed. When is the last time you told those around you they are needed?
Dear God: I don’t often tell my family they are needed. I don’t share with my friends they are needed in my life. And I certainly don’t share all my needs with others. I am often too proud to admit I am in need. I feel like I have failed if I need prayer for something, or need a ride or have a need I can’t fulfill myself. I often tell you I want you in my life, but that is not true. I need you in my life. I need for you to be with me at all times and I need for you to help me along this journey. Help me as I grow into the ministry of sharing and the confession of needs. Thank you for the community you have given me. Amen.