When you need help, where do you look?

Published 10:36 am Friday, July 10, 2009

We all need help from time to time. It is ludicrous to think one could go from cradle to grave without needing assistance. The question is, who or what are we looking to when we need help?
The first line of help would likely be family, neighbors, and friends. Most of us need not look beyond that scope because we find their resources adequate. If our need is great, prolonged, or complicated, we may need to look beyond family and friends. Where is our next line of help?
The civil government in most places has established a social safety net intended to help people who need help.
The problem is that any institution developed and operated by people will never rise above the innate weaknesses of those people. There might be some help, but never enough to get you where you want to be or need to be.
In the Old Testament book of Psalms, chapter 121 directs us to the highest source of help. The psalmist says, “I will lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
The only source of help that comes without complicated mechanisms, endless waiting periods, and usurious interest is from God, the Creator of the universe. Five times in Psalm 121 we are told that God is watching over us.
Most of us know what it’s like to be watched and cared for by a loving parent-to be sure we do not endanger ourselves, to be sure we are healthy and protected.
God never sleeps, and He watches over us continually. God is strong and has the power to do anything. God is good and seeks only the best for us. It is rare to find the combination of power and good intentions in the same being.
Government may have power, but the intentions may be questionable at times. Other institutions have good intentions, but lack the real power to do anything.
God is both strong and good. Psalm 62, verses 11-12, says it this way: “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.” We cannot find anyone or anything better-God is great and God is good!
What keeps us from running to God immediately in our need? It could be that we think there might be too many strings attached. Maybe we doubt God’s care for us, or maybe we doubt God’s power.
There is a caveat to taking our need to God and seeking His help. God knows everything and knows what is best for us. God will protect us from ourselves at times. Sometimes, things we think we need, we do not need at all. God is involved with us and watching over us, and has very high goals for our lives.
The Apostle Paul spoke of God’s power and goodness in the epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 3, verse 20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . . .”
Where do we look for help? God must be our first stop. He may use family, friends, or whatever. God is not limited. God used ravens to feed Elijah meat and bread for days in the wilderness (1 Kings 17:2-6). God also used a poor widow to provide for Elijah for several months (1 Kings 17:7-16).
God wants to help us. He wants us to run to Him, crying out in our need.
He wants us to trust Him and believe, as Psalm 121 declares, He is watching over us continually.

Rev. Dan Puckett is a minister with Life Action Ministries.