“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Isaiah 41:13 ESV
Growing up I had the impression that guys were supposed to be strong, fearless, and self-sufficient. Even though, as a Christian, I knew that I never was—nor would I ever be—self-sufficient. I put on a strong front. I recall even using, out loud, the words, “I’m not afraid of anything.” Big words for a little man.
But the truth of the matter is, I have never been fearless. I have never been self-sufficient.
This weekend our pastor quoted Martin Luther, who said, “When I look at myself I do not see how I could be saved. When I look at Christ I do not know how I could be lost.” Martin Luther got it. He understood.
Paul discovered this truth when he endured his “thorn in the flesh.” We can only speculate as to the malady with which Paul was afflicted, but it must have really been something bad! He endured beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonments, and he never asked God to keep him from that suffering. However, he did ask God three times to remove this thorn in the flesh. God responded, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, ESV italics mine).
In this time of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are faced with government-mandated quarantines, restrictions and short supplies. Many small business have been forced to close their doors forever. Some people have had to receive financial assistance for the first time in their lives. Many will never fully recover financially. When you add in murder through the criminal abuse of power—and the resultant violence, rioting and looting—it becomes all the more clear that we need help.
Three words. We. Need. Help.
So, maybe for the first time, we cry out to God, “If you’re real, we could really use Your help!”
I will be revealing my nerd side here, but I’m reminded of a quote from Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He said, “Help will always be given at Hogwarts, to those who ask for it.”
When I think of my need for God I always picture in my mind’s eye a father walking hand-in-hand with his small child. A child is, utterly and completely, dependent upon his or her parents (or guardians). He cannot get food for himself. She cannot bathe by herself. We cannot deal with powerful emotions by ourselves. I am powerless, defenseless, and clueless in and of myself.
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, ESV).
We all want to be strong. But for us to allow God to be strong in us, we need to recognize our own weaknesses. If any good comes out of these troubled times, let it be that we find our help in Him.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week! Please feel free to share in the comments how you have found your help in the Lord in the hard times of life.
Image by Lorraine Cormier from Pixabay