“Help! Help, Lord! We need your help!” An elderly woman from church service cried out, waving her lace white handkerchief as if she were sending out an SOS. It was a unexpected ripple during the middle of Sunday service, and the congregation quieted, almost motionless, and many, including me, wondered if the pastor would sit her down. She continued to cry out, “Help!” That really was all she said, but when I thought about it, it was more than enough.
For many of us, these are troubled times. Health challenges, financial crises, weather calamities, troubled relationships, as well as the ever-present evidence of spiritual decay is all around us. For those who don’t understand that they need help, I feel afraid for them. We all need the Lord’s help, and I hate sounding like an AA meeting—but the first step is humbling ourselves to realize that we need help from the Lord.
To some, this “first step” is elementary, but to others, the implication that they might need help is offensive. After all, so many pride themselves for being in control. While reading Jacob’s story, found in Genesis 29-31, I was struck by how two men, an uncle and nephew, respond to conflict by relying on themselves and their own resources instead of relying on God for help. However, through the course of Jacob’s life, he gets on the receiving end of Laban’s deceptive and manipulative behavior. As a result, Jacob’s knowledge and understanding of God grows. As he works years for Rachel and years for God’s permission to leave Laban, Jacob eventually vows not to make a move without God. Laban, on the other hand, continues his selfish decisions and refuses to fully depend on God for help (Genesis 24:1-35:55).
Recognizing our need for God’s help is crucial. Psalm 46:1 says that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We can’t be deceived into thinking that the only thing we need is people to do what we want them to do. We don’t just need a cure for diseases and illnesses, money for bills, or jobs so that we can work—or any other thing besides the Lord that we might think of. Our very present help is God. He is our Source. He is our lifeline. He is our help. He is the One who will give us the kind of healing that we need. He knows us better than any physician, better than anyone. He is the One who can give us divine wisdom to know what job we need to do and when. He can put us in positions that we can’t imagine! God is able to give us the wisdom and knowledge to appropriate the finances we do have. My husband reminds me often, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18a). He will give us the ability if we trust in Him.
Moses begged God to release him from the assignment God had given him. He was fearful of people and how they might receive him. Most of us have probably felt like this at one time or another. It’s something I struggle with often, but the thing that truly quiets my soul is that God says to Moses during his time of anxiety and fear, “Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (Exodus 4:11-12).
The Lord is our help and strength. Recognize and accept your need for repentance and God’s help if you haven’t. Depend on Him fully for all of your needs. He can bear the weight of whatever burdens we carry.
Relying on Him with You,