The Beggar

Last week, we talked about asking God for help. Do you struggle with that as much as I do? I have always hated asking for help. After high school, I struck out on my own as fast as I could. My family was great and all, but having my independence was much better. I was my own man and wanted to do everything on my own. Asking for help was embarrassing, and I thought it made me look weak. 

I’m so bad at it that I’ve moved two couches by myself. Foolish.

In my years following me accepting Christ, I have learned that showing this weakness reveals His strength. I am still not the best at this. However, I think I’m figuring out a key ingredient to my reluctance…my posture while asking.

Does asking for help feel a little like begging to you? Somehow my brain turns, “Lord, the budget is tight. Would you help bring us some stretch with a little extra?” into “Oh! Merciful Master, I have squandered away your provision on Starbucks and Facebook offers, please have pity on me and share with me some bread.” Yuck! Who wants to grovel like that? And who only wants bread? Don’t we really all want steak? Maybe even some cheesecake too?

This is what Isaiah says about God’s provision and mercy.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
Isaiah 43:18-21

Recently, I was talking with a friend about being God’s chosen and yet how strong my reluctance to ask for help is. A few thoughts sprang up in our conversation that I thought was worth sharing.

  • Why would I fear a God who is for me?
  • If I am the son of the King, why am acting like a beggar?
  • If God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), then why am I begging for bread? I need to be asking for steak!
  • If my reaction to the Old Testament should be fear and trembling, then my reaction to the New Testament should be celebration and dancing. Like the best wedding you’ve ever been to…a wedding with steak!
  • Lastly,  it’s time to stop living like a begging peasant and start living like a bestowed prince,  beloved son of The King!

Do any of these thoughts clash with predispositions you also have of God?

Do you have trouble asking for help like I do? 

I would love to hear your take on what God has stirred up in me this week. Leave a comment or send me an email at

We will get through this together!

In His service and at yours.


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

2 thoughts on “The Beggar

  1. Thank you for your transparency, it is most humbling to read about the struggle you once had.I really love asking for His help, so many times He shows me the way to help myself. Not to say, that I have been hesitant at times, but in the end He wins out, and I ask once again.


  2. I so relate to your difficulty asking God for help and especially for anything for myself. I was raised to be very independent and prided myself on being so. I have learned over the years during my Christian walk how wrong and sinful this attitude was/is. It is really very prideful.I am trying to let go and ask God, because that is what He wants of us. And yes, we should come boldly before His throne with all of our requests and petitions.
    Thank you, Shawn, for all that you do for us.


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