I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
I always felt sorry for Ringo. All the other Beatles were stars, and frankly seemed to have so much more talent than Ringo that you had to wonder why he was there at all. It was years later before I learned that when it came to rock and roll drummers, Ringo was first rate. I guess he just didn't draw attention to himself. For Ringo it was about the band.
But a few years on in the amazing run of the Beatles, the boys let Ringo have a couple of turns at bat. And with "Yellow Submarine" and then my favorite "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends", Ringo stepped into the spotlight at last. But then just as quickly, he slipped back into his normal place. For Ringo, it was always about the band.
Yesterday was one of "those days" for me. You know the type. Something sets you off course and the dominoes of doom and gloom begin to topple toward you, one after another. I woke up knowing that New Hope was going to be missing at least 5 families. That might not sound like a lot, but these are folks who make a difference in lots of ways. Then we had "technical difficulties" with the copier, with a printer, and I misplaced the "clicker" I use to advance the powerpoint slides. It seemed like it was shaping up to be "one of those days."
And it was. One of those days you remember for a long time, simply because of the people you shared it with.
My first inkling that my "little help from my friends" was on the way was Aaron filling in for Michael Weech on the sounds and video. It was his first time serving there, so he might have had an excuse to be nervous. But when I dropped the news that he would have to change my slides too, it was "no big deal, be glad to."
Then there was our youngest praise team member, the incredible Miss Hope, who favored us again during the songs by joining the praise team. Not quite two, she brings a joy with her when she comes, and prods the rest of us to loosen up and let the Lord lead us. Not to mention she's as cute as can be.
Oh and the Blackmon family gave me a "little help from my friends" too. Romeo, baseball all star and 100% boy, came up with the praise team again and helped us lead worship. His sister Juliet closed the service with a lovely piece on piano as her offering.
That night when we met for small groups, I knew that most all of the men who normally attend wouldn't be there. And when I arrived it was John and Ian Anderson and me. So we shelved the planned discussion and talked about some other things. Ian asked me a question about whether he would wind up as one of those people "let outside the city, like in Revelation" if he liked science. After I answered that with a resounding no, he went on to tell me that he wanted to grow up and be a Christian science fiction writer, and encourage other Christians to write too.
It was at exactly that point that I thanked God for the day and for all the friends who helped me not just get by, but leave praising God for counting me worthy to be the pastor of a church named New Hope and people like these.
Maybe you are in one of those discouragement loops I was in Sunday. Maybe the dominoes of doom and gloom are headed your way. Let me encourage you to look around you and see how many ways God has blessed, is blessing, and will bless you though the people He's placed in your life.
This life was never intended to be a solitary assignment. We were made to trust in God, to follow His Son's example, and to get by with a little help from our friends.
12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Eccl 4:12 (NLT)
Thank you Lord Jesus, for the people you've placed in our lives as friends.