I would like to introduce you to Blue.
This is basically what he looks like - well, what he would have looked like when he was brand new (yes, I pulled it off the internet). Blue is a 1989 two-door Honda Accord. He's been in my family since I was in 11th grade. Sometime during high school, my brother and I decided to name him Old Blue, even though he was red. Sometimes I wonder if all of his problems are partly due to identity issues.
My brother and I shared him during my last two years in high school, and then he remained home my first year of college so that Cole could finish high school with him. He then moved up to Seattle for the remainder of both Cole's and my time in college. Post graduation, Cole kept him (since I got married) until he was able to upgrade to a Subaru, and then my family gave him to Joseph and I as a get-around-town car. There is the brief history of Blue and my family.
He's been in multiple accidents. First off, he's a stick - and you should never drive or park a stick in Seattle. Especially on Queen Anne. Way too many hills. Second, Cole and I weren't the nicest to him. He's been through three different drivers learning to drive manual (myself, Cole, and then most recently, Joe). I once ran him into the curb when I hit a patch of black ice. Sometime during college, his AC quit working and the latch that holds the hood down decided to break, so we bungey-cord his hood down. With two cords. Actually, we just did one until a few months ago when Joe and I were driving down the freeway and the cord broke, allowing his hood to fly up into the windshield. So then we upgraded to two cords. He also, for some odd reason, drains his battery really quickly. So whenever we turn him off, we have to disconnect the cable from the battery so it doesn't drain.
He's a piece of work. Other's will talk to me about their work car or junky car, and in my head I'm going "wait until you see mine".
However, I love him. He's had a lot of adventures in our family, and been with us for a long time. He's died about 4 times and always, somehow, found a way to work again. He gets great gas mileage, and he's a stick (which I love to drive).
Even just this morning, I came out to start him and found him dead. Joe took the other car to work, so I needed to ask my neighbor to come and help me jump him. But, the one thing that I think God has taught me and anyone else who has had him, is how to learn to receive help.
Receiving help can be extremely difficult. In fact, asking for help is extremely difficult. It requires humility. It requires courage. And it requires us to be at the mercy of someone else.
At YMI, we do a team-building exercise where teams are required to serve one another, and be served in turn. More often than not, it's not the serving that challenges students - it's the 'being served'.
We don't like to be served. We don't like to receive help. It's human nature.
But the fact of the matter is - if we can't receive help, how can we receive grace? And if we can't receive grace, how can we receive Christ? I know I struggle so much with receiving Christ's grace - because I can't humble myself enough to recognize I need his grace. John writes "He must become greater, while I must become less". This is so true, but so difficult.
And it comes down to receiving. Can you receive His grace and His love and His forgiveness, so that He can be greater and you can be less? So that He can be glorified?
Just like receiving help for Blue is so challenging, it reminds me that receiving help from God is so much more difficult. Yet so much more important.