Weekly message from Cypress Church: The connecting value of help

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

We had the distinct joy to go with our daughter in-law and two grandsons to the LA Zoo. It was an amazing time. How fun to see all the incredible creations God has made. We saw zebras, sea lions, elephants, snakes, lions, bears, all kinds of very cool and colorful birds, monkeys, kangaroos; we even got to feed the giraffes! It was so fun to see the expression of awe and wonder on the boys’ faces as they saw God’s handiwork Genesis 1:20-25. Now as we were going along in the stroller, the older one would stand up and was just the right height to see over most of the railings and yell out, “Look, Papa! I see the lion!” He then would ask to be held to get an even better look. Though, while at the lion, he did say to Kristi, who was holding him, “I don’t want that lion to attack me, Mormor,” as he gripped his Mormor tight. (Mormor is Swedish for mother’s mother, and though Kristi is these particular grandkids’ father’s mother, all our grandkids call Kristi ‘Mormor’). Kristi answered back explaining the safety of the enclosure and telling him he didn’t need to worry because the lion was now fast asleep. Our grandson was comforted, and since that interaction felt a bit more attached to Kristi. The other younger one continued to get frustrated when his older brother was all excited about an animal, describing what it looked like, asking questions and this younger one would let out a yell. When asked what was wrong, he just kept yelling. Now he is just starting to use words, so we asked if he wanted to be picked up, and after a little more yelling he figured out that he needed help and shot up his arms and looked right at me. Once up in my arms, he was all excited and even more so as he laid eyes the animal we were visiting. He let out a grunt and an “OOOOOOHH,” with a huge grin on his face. That started a trend and fun interaction. He would ride along in the stroller eating a snack, and as soon as we would pull up to a new enclosure, he would look at me and throw his arms up! I would then pick him up and we would share the moment enjoying God’s creation. Kristi and I now have some fun shared experiences with these boys through the connection of help.

See there is a connecting value of help. When we share our needs with others and are willing to accept help, we form and deepen relationships with others. Now sure, we mess it all up by expecting everyone and anyone to help us or being overly needy, but there is wonderful connecting value to helping others. Actually, it’s something God requires us to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron,and one man sharpens another.
1 Peter 4:8-10 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

We were created to be interdependent with others, to develop relationships where we can be open and honest and vulnerable. To have someone walk with you when you are unsure or frightened. To be so close to another that we feel safe enough to cry out in frustration and know they will help us when we are unsure how we feel, even if we find ourselves in trouble.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Yes, relationships take time and energy. But, it’s worth it. Sure we need to practice being more others-focused than self-focused, yet the more we connect through helping others, the more we in turn grow and find an even closer relationship. Who is someone you can help today?

Church can be a great environment to develop quality relationships and help others. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.