Previously: No matter how self-sufficient we are, sooner or later we dreamers and creators all need a Barnabas: someone to put in a good word for us, introduce us to the right people, assist us with a project, or just be a good friend. History is filled with famous people who found success and achieved their
dreams simply because someone took an interest in them and offered to lend a hand. These caring facilitators follow in the footsteps of the Biblical icon
Barnabas. But finding someone who can help — and who’s willing to help — isn’t always easy.
So exactly how does one go about finding a Barnabas and obtaining his or her help?
First things first: During the journey from childhood to mature adult, most people lose the confidence or the boldness or the freedom to ask anyone for anything. Adults actually hate asking. Most assume the answer will be a “no” anyway, so why waste the time. There’s even an old expression in the workplace, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission”!
Nobody likes to face rejection, and a “NO” leaves us out in the cold, standing there with our hat in our hand, looking stupid — or so we think. We dreamers and creators need to realize, however, that at worst, a “no” is simply a “no” and often only means “not now” or “not here”; but at best, a “no” is just one of the tiniest words in the English language that means “keep on knocking, keep on trying”!
For some people the thought of getting a NO can be paralyzing. Result? They won’t ask for anything. Pride may also play into their reluctance, as well as the idea they might be inconveniencing someone. If only we could recapture the freedom and fearlessness of childhood. Kids don’t worry about silly stuff, and they don’t hesitate to ask for anything. For instance, if a child’s friend has an ice cream cone, he’ll probably ask his friend, “Can I have a lick or two?” True, most kids have no sense of propriety, but they also aren’t limited by the fear of a “NO”!
Sons and daughters know it never hurts to ask mom and dad for a new bike or, a few years later, if they can borrow the car. Why should they? The worst that could happen is they get a NO. But the answer just might be a glorious, filled-with-possibilities YES!!
In a child’s mind, the sky’s the limit, and our Heavenly Father wants us to have that same childlike faith. He wants us to view life as filled with possibilities. God also wants us to ask Him for the things we need and even some of the things we simply want. After all, He is our Heavenly Father, and it never hurts to ask. Sometimes His answer is “NO”; but when it is a “No” God has His reasons — and they’re always good reasons.
So, if you need a Barnabas yourself, the first thing you need to do is ASK — and keep on asking.
Finding the right people who are willing to assist you in the pursuit of your dreams and creative endeavors can take time, patience, tons of effort, and some supernatural intervention. As we stated, people tend to be self-absorbed and generally — depending on their level of spiritual maturity — disinclined to support, serve, and assist others. What can we do?
- Pray for a Barnabas. Oftentimes, God has lined up precisely the right people you need, long before you realize you need them. Nevertheless, God expects us to be confident and make our requests known to Him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NLT)
- Don’t be shy: open your mouth and ask!
Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained! That’s why we’ve asked store managers to honor their sales beyond the deadline — and often received a YES. One of us once asked to be considered for a job that required far more experience — and got both a YES and the job!
So ASK already! Want a raise, or time off? Want a loan? Want to marry that special person?Want a customer to buy your new product or service? Want a publisher to accept your book? Have you asked? Again, the worst that can happen is you hear a “NO.” But imagine a YES, instead. Remember: “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2 NASB)
- Don’t be limited by the fear of a “NO”! Now, if we can ask the God of the Universe, then why can’t we ask each other for support? The worst that can happen is you get a “No!” Big deal. Rejection is part of the process. Simply try someone else.
- Keep on knocking. Persistence pays off. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Mathew 7:7 NLT)
A young entrepreneur once explained how he mailed out hundreds of letters requesting help for a truly great idea he had. That took a lot of stamps and perseverance; because his pleas were almost universally met with silence. But his persistence paid off. He received a single response … from the last person he ever expected to hear from: a wealthy and influential businessman, who agreed to facilitate the entrepreneur’s dream. Who was this young man’s big-name Barnabas? Well, he recently got elected to the highest office in America.
- Don’t expect people to intuitively understand what you need, or how they can help. Sometimes people just don’t get it. So tell them. Be specific about what you need. Offer them ideas as to how they may assist you.
Keep on creating, keep on dreaming, and pray for a Barnabas. “…If you keep knocking long enough, [someone] will get up and give you everything you want — just because of your persistence.” (Luke 11:8 TLB)
Above all, trust God to bring the right people into your life. And when you finally do find yourself in the spotlight, remember to pull someone else in. This pleases God: “This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12 VOICE)