Thursday, June 06, 2013

A New Perspective Under a Coat of Paint

“…that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

3 Things I Hate:
 1) TV news anchors that engage in witty banter, pretending to be comedians
 2) The stair master at the gym 
 3) Asking for help 

In the midst of painting the inside of my home the other day, my friend Deb emerged from my son’s bathroom and said, “Well, the bathtub is clean.”

“What? Deb, did you clean the bathroom?!”

“Yes,” she said with a smile. “I wanted to bless you.”

A rush of emotions curled up in my stomach and punched me.  Embarrassment, humiliation and anger rolled into one.  “Deb, I asked you to help me paint, not clean.”

“Robbie, “My friend Sonya joined in, “Receive it. It’s a gift she wants to give you.’

This week I discovered that I have a little problem asking for assistance and a huge problem asking for guidance. We all have different gifts and talents and in my world, I was at recess when God gave out the gifts for painting, cleaning and decorating. My friend Sonya has an incredible gift for all three of these. A few weeks ago, I asked my friend Sonya for help in redoing my home. She didn’t hesitate in saying yes. This week was painting week. Sonya came into my home and assisted me and guided me into a more gorgeous and peaceful place to live.

Through this process, I’ve had to choose to be grateful for my friends instead of humiliated that I don’t have the abilities they have. I didn’t like that Deb cleaned my bathroom. It was so uncomfortable to accept that Sonya knew how to organize my cabinets in a way that made sense. A way that I haven't thought about. I cringed when I watched Lynn and Helen and Loretta paint and clean with such an intense knowledge and gusto when I felt that we should just quit and all go sit in a movie theatre and eat popcorn.

It was difficult.

And through it all, God knew that I needed these ladies to teach me that to receive with a grateful heart, even when it hurts, is to allow Him to complete His work in me. He is teaching me that showing the ugliness in my life to others (they actually were privy to seeing all that has grown behind my stove and under my kitchen sink) is showing God an open heart in which He can work.

These are lessons I could not begin to learn on my own. Philippians 1:6 reminds us even though we are works in progress, God is constantly working to perfect us. And many times He uses our friends to do this, but we have to be open to ask and receive.

And you should see my home. Beautiful! (Thank you Sonya, Deb, Loretta, Lynn and Helen!)


Amy Smith said...

Robbie, what a great post! I also struggle with asking for help, and am not a born organizer. But I love to bless others, and am having to learn to accept when others choose to bless me, so that I do not take away their blessing. God blesses us with friends that are awesome and can edify and build us!

Robbie Iobst said...

Amen, Amy. You said it well. My pride steals others' blessings. Thank God for friends! And thank you for your words. :)

Anonymous said...

Love covers a multitude of things. Joy comes in serving God through serving others. And peace comes in receiving what God gives us, the great AND the challenging. Transformation comes....much more slowly when we don't ask for or accept help.
But, you're not alone. Unless you're a taker, accepting help (or even grace) is much harder than giving it.

Robbie Iobst said...

Amen, Helen. And THANK YOU FRIEND!