School started for my kids this week. We have reset routines, moving from the lazy, alarm-less days of summer to setting alarms, getting dressed, and leaving for school by 7 a.m. This morning I got my 8th grade son out the door to catch the bus ten minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. I then moved my focus towards my 3rd grader and myself so we could leave for school and work respectively.
But my morning was interrupted by a text message from a neighbor: “The bus missed Logan. He’s still waiting at the bus stop, but there was a substitute driver and they got there early and didn’t see him.”
I immediately changed course. I forfeit additional makeup, unplugged the curling iron, threw on a ball cap and got in my car to help my son. Why? Because he needed help. Because I love him. Because I am able to help him and want to help him.
It’s a mundane example, I know. No one was in imminent danger. No one was crying or upset. But regardless, I was able to show up and help my son and remind him: his mother loves him, is very aware of his situation, and will help him.
What a sobering relief to consider that God loves me, is very aware of my situation, and will help me.
What a sobering relief to consider that God loves you, is very aware of your situation, and will help you.
When you look at the life of Jesus, He met people right where they were and served them by helping them in ways that relieved the pain they were facing: He gave food to the hungry,the ability to walk to the lame, peace to the man plagued by a legion of demons, life to the dead, hope to the hopeless, purpose to the socially-condemned, and second chances to the disenfranchised. The Good News looked and sounded like good news; it sounded like help.
Throughout scripture God is referred to as our Helper:
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”
“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to help you, and in His excellency on the clouds.”
“But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”
“You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.”
The challenge in reading scripture in English is the limitations of language and translation. In English, the word “help” can come across as docile or soft. But in ancient Hebrew and Greek, words for help connoted the idea of military force and relief; complete and utter protection from the threat of harm.
God is our helper. Our strength. Our fortress. Our hiding place. When the proverbial bus of life leaves us at our bus stop, God is ready to show up in full force and deliver us.
And so with that in mind, before you close this browser and move into the next busy moment of your life, I’d like to invite you to pause right here and consider these two questions:
- Where do you need help in your life right now? What would Good News look or sound like to you right now?
- What would change in your mind and heart if you knew that God is not only ABLE to provide help, but DESIRES to help you?
Wherever you are and whatever situation you are facing, I want to remind you that you are never alone. God loves you very much and He is able to carry you through every trial you are facing. Talk to Him. Tell Him everything weighing on you. Ask Him to open your eyes to see the help He is providing. And remember, often God’s help comes through God’s people. Invite someone in your faith community to know what it is you’re facing. If you are not connected to a faith community, we would love to walk with you.
God is your refuge and strength; a very present help in your trouble. Amen.