Day 24 of Lent, Psalm 30:
Probably, one of the prayers I pray most often is a very short and simple prayer. I can bet you pray this prayer as well. My pray goes like this (and it is only four letters), “Help.” I know it sounds a little too simple and not very “religious.” Now, it may come in many forms and in different ways of requests, but it boils down to, “I need help Lord. I don’t know what to do.” Or, I might say, “I have made a mess of things and I am feeling like I do this a lot. I need your help to fix things.” Other times I feel completely inadequate, overwhelmed or insecure and I pray, “Lord, I cannot do this thing. I need you and I need you to help me now.”
I am finding that this is a very normal and common way to pray, for God is suppose to help us, right? Why would we go to anyone else? You are probably like me, in that there are certain people you call or go to for certain needs you have. For wisdom and relational advice, I go to one person, but for technical advice I turn to someone else. If there are household “fix-it” type of issues I go to a dear friend of ours, but I don’t go to him for advice about how to cut or fix my hair. I will gladly ask my hairstylist, Vivian for help in that area. We ask for help all the time, but we usually go to qualified people for the help we need. God is our Helper, yet we often turn to other things to comfort, fix things, or for answers. I want my first cry for help to be to Him, not in my complaints to my husband or in the anxiety of my heart. How about you? Where is your tendency to go for help first?
The other thought I have about help, is sometimes it feels like I am not being helped. Is God overlooking me, penalizing me or trying to just catch my attention so that I will change? Why doesn’t it seem like He is helping me, when I cry out? It is probably a similar feeling my kids have about things when I ask them to do something that they do not like, that are to “help” them. As I have them take responsibility for things or have them pay for items they really want, they can feel like I am neglecting them or not noticing their needs or desires. They of course, would rather me cover all the costs of eating out with friends, the extra costs of a more expensive athletic shoe, or just give them an unlimited budget in general. But because I love them, I want to help them- not just superficially, but in their character and in their wholeness as a person. My “help” doesn’t always seem like “help,” to them.
I love how David identifies in Psalm 30 different ways of God as His Helper.
You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You for help and You healed me.
I imagine I don’t see all the ways that God has protected me, and kept me from harm and from the lies and deceptions of the enemy. Even in giving me new life, He has lifted me or helped me out of a hopeless situation– healing my spiritual death with the gift of His life.
Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning
How many times I have wept in despair, sadness or in anxiety. I am not at that place right now. Morning did come. Sometimes, morning does take awhile, but it will come. The Lord did help me. Did I see it?
O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong
God gives security. He extends faithfulness, patience and everlasting love. I never have to wonder if I am safe, will I be left alone, or will He remain. He gives me His security that is enduring. What would I be like without Him?
“Hear, O Lord and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosened my sackcloth and girded me with gladness. That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord God, I will give thanks for You forever.
I think about what He has done and how I have not only been helped, but I am being helped. Remembering and thankfulness does help me. I often discount it or blow this off to: “I need to be honest with my feelings or my unmet longings and lack of feeling helped.” But the very help I need is before me. He is my help. The eyes he has given me to see what He has done is my help. The mind that remembers, is my help. Not meeting all of my cries in the way I want is help. It is hard to see this. As I cry for help, I know He is the very one who can only meet my deepest cries of help. I also can know for sure that He is helping me.
God is my Helper. I shall not be moved.