From Jim O'Brien
April 29, 2016

Hi Friend,

The Need to be Needed

There is a natural and normal desire in all men to be needed by others. It is manifested to a degree when we have children. A skeptic might wonder why humans want to have offspring given the pain to the mother, changes to her body, humiliating medical exams, expense, sleepless nights and potential for heartbreak.

God must have imbedded a deep desire within the human psyche for people to want children. Part of it is the need to be needed.

A child depends on his parents for existence. His need is intrinsic and essential. Conversely, being needed by another person fulfills a human need. If a woman contributes nothing else to mankind other than being a good mother, she has left a legacy of success. It is her "raison d'être".

The inevitable result of raising children is that one day, they will leave. The emptiness that a parent feels may be best described as "the empty nest syndrome" as they see their reason for existence walk out the door. This was the goal, the day they lived for and now they wonder what else can bring such value to life.

In fact, some parents never successfully conquer this stage. That's why there are books written and therapists employed to ease the progress.

Every human must sometime face the reality that he isn't needed-at least by the thing that gave value to his life in the past. Ironically it is a characteristic of true Christianity.

Two of the greatest stories of friendship ever told involve men who filled a great need and then stepped away turning their place over to another. One was Jonathan, son of King Saul, who was the Crown Prince. Yet he saw that God had chosen David to be King so Jonathan stepped aside.

Another was John the Baptist who was thought by some at the time to be the Messiah. But John referred to himself as the "friend of the bridegroom" and said, "he who has the bride is the bridegroom." (John 3:29) John recognized that the church was meant for Jesus, not himself. Then he expressed the obvious consequence, "I must decrease, but he must increase."

But it doesn't stop here. During the last Passover meal Jesus took with His disciples He explained that He was going away. The disciples were understandably shaken. What would they do without Him?

Jesus answered them, "It is best for you that I go away." (John 16:7 NLT) Even today that statement is hard to fathom. Is there any way that the disciples could have been better off without Jesus with them?

Jesus explained that, "...if I don't, the Advocate won't come." Now I don't understand exactly why-I just know what Jesus said. I envision it as a sort of relay race. One runner has completed his race and he must hand the baton to the next. But Jesus continued, "If I do go away, then I will send him to you."

So on Pentecost, fifty-five days after Jesus made that promise, the Holy Spirit did come and the world has never been the same.

This great gift was given to man because Jesus had finished His work and the world needed the Holy Spirit to begin the next leg.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien