For the 20-plus years I worked at Delta Air Lines I brought my lunch to work practically everyday. We were only given a 30 minute lunch break and that really wasn’t enough time to drive anywhere for lunch. That applied to all four Reservation centers that I worked in: Tampa, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, and Dallas. Although we did have a cafeteria in the Dallas office for a short time, however it eventually closed.
I remember one day while working in the Dallas Reservation office, I forgot my lunch, which would invariably happen every once and awhile, and normally when it did, I’d just get something from the vending machines. But on this particular day I didn’t have any money with me either. Oops! I was hungry but I was also too embarrassed to ask anyone for money, so I just sat down in the break room and acted like everything was ok.
While sitting there at the lunch table with nothing to eat I thought of a recent sermon my pastor preached, about how God wants to meet our needs and how He knows our needs even before we ask (Matthew 6:8). He reminded us that God wants us to ask Him in prayer about everything, big or small. So, instead of eating on my lunch break that day, I prayed about being hungry and also about being too embarrassed to ask anyone for money. Why was I like that?
Before long my lunch break was over and I went back to work, hungry.
A couple of hours later, still hungry and feeling a little down, I took my afternoon break and stepped outside of the customer service area to the guard shack area to make a phone call. Out of the blue, the guard said, “Hello!” and offered me a slice of her pizza that she had just gotten delivered! Of course I accepted it and was so grateful! It was delicious!! I told her that both she and the slice of pizza were an answer to prayer. It brought a smile to both of our faces.
Through this experience I was reminded of just how much God loves me, and that He wants me to look to Him for all my needs, big or small, and also to not be so independent and aloof.
I learned some things about God that day and also about myself. Not that I instantly changed overnight but more so an awareness of what I should and should not do.
One: I was more in the habit of praying about the larger, more important issues in life, not the little things. I was reminded that I was not to limit my prayers to just the big things, but to bring everything to God in prayer, even something as small and insignificant as a forgotten lunch.
Two: Why was I too embarrassed to ask someone for lunch money? Was my embarrassment actually pride? Was I too proud to admit I made a mistake? Was I too aloof to ask for help? I think the short answer is yes. Although I was “feeling” embarrassed, I think it was pride mixed in with a little fear, an ongoing inferiority complex, and a little ignorance to boot, all of which together created the “feeling” of embarrassment. Bottom line, it was still pride.
Pride is a sin. It comes in all shapes and sizes, actions and lack of action, and it gets in the way of healthy relationships. It also separates us from God.
I know now that it’s ok to ask people for help, especially from people that you know. It’s not a sign that there’s something wrong with you. It’s a sign that you’re human. It’s even more OK to ask God for His help. In fact, we’re told to do so throughout the Bible:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
When we fail to pray about everything, we are failing to ask God for His help.
When we fail to pray about everything, we’re failing to trust God for our needs.
When we fail to pray about everything, we’re relying on ourselves instead of God.
When we fail to pray about everything, we’re denying the sovereignty of God.
When we fail to pray about everything, we’re saying we know better than Him.
When we fail to pray about everything, we’re saying that we’re in control, not God.
God’s help is actually exactly what we all need, but we have to first be willing to humble ourselves, be willing to set aside our pride, and be willing to ask for His help, in prayer.
Don’t let the sin of pride separate you from people, or interfere with your relationship with God, or more importantly, keep you from coming to Him in the first place, in repentance and faith.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. Matthew 21:22