Do you have everything you need?

As my mom dropped me at the airport a few days back, she left me with a sweet, simple prayer: May you be filled and guided by the Spirit, and may you have everything you need.

Everything I need echoed in my mind. Mysterious words. “Everything” sure sounds like a lot…but then there’s the “need.” How many things do we need, really? How do we discern what our spiritual, emotional, and physical needs are? And then how do we determine the means to get them met? As these questions rose up, one short word put them back down to rest: help.

My mom prayed that I’d have everything I need while on this trip, and it struck me that no matter where I go, I always always have that word “help.” Could that be everything I need?

If ever lacking strength or skills or anything, I always can turn towards the ever-present God and cry or whisper or plead or perhaps calmly request His help. Furthermore, I can also always ask a neighbor for aid and if that first person can’t, surely somewhere there’s someone willing to offer a hand. God always provides in His perfect timing, whether through a person, an angel, or another unexpected channel.

Looking back, however, I must admit that I lived a long time feeling unable to ask for help. Sure, I could expose my needs silently and secretly to God (and it saddens me that those who don’t believe in a higher being don’t even have that option), but when it came to asking favors from other humans? No way. If I was unsure how to accomplish something on my own, I usually felt shame and would often feign competence, trembling behind my outward bravado, fearful that someone would detect my phony facade.

Attempting self-sufficiency is an exhausting and very lonely way of life, so at times I would swing to a childlike state, seeking out caretakers who would step in to meet my needs. A sense of healthy dependence on God and interdependence with others was foreign.

I still have that bent towards flying solo. But thankfully loving life guides have shown me another way and taught me that the simple question — “Will you help me?” — is always available in my toolbox, providing access to resources outside my own arms’ reach.

Help, good and gracious God. Grant me the humility to recognize and admit my needs, expose them to others, and ask for aid. Show me when, where, and how I can channel your assistance to others, as well. May I look to you as the Source of all help, and may I remember to thank you as you provide.

That one word — help. How powerful.

Do you have everything you need?