Some childhood summer days my sister and I paddled a rented canoe across Lake Pleasant. Once in the Kunjamuk River, we maneuvered so slowly we had time to observe the transparent wings of every passing dragonfly and the radiating ripples caused by each water strider’s tiny feet. One day after paddling quite a distance upriver, we noticed dark clouds and turned around. We reached the river’s mouth quickly, but struggled to leave as a seemingly unending series of white-capped lake waves pushed against us. After some time battling the current, discouraged and afraid, we pulled the canoe ashore. My sister stayed with the canoe, and I ran along the shore towards the place where we were staying, looking for my mother. I found her and we ran back to the canoe together. She got into the canoe and effortlessly maneuvered it out into the lake, and back to shore. My sister and I, to this day, celebrate her superior strength and experience.
Although it was easy for me to run and ask for help as a child, now it is hard. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone; and I am usually too proud to admit I can’t cope on my own.
One of my favorite heroes, David, beloved song-writer and warrior-king of ancient Israel, wasn’t too proud to ask for help. Two separate accounts of his reign record nearly identical lists of his helpers. Both include Eleazar who fought so hard that his hand froze to his sword. It seems King David made a habit of enlisting help, and of honoring those who helped him. A few times, after recounting the high points of a battle, the lists also say, “The LORD brought about a great victory.” David fought hard; his warriors fought hard; but God won their battles.
Application: Dear friend, as you battle against life’s storms, expected and unexpected, you are not alone. As you face troubles, what might happen if you asked yourself, “Who could help me?” and then followed through, humble as a child, and ran for help? You might even list your helpers so you can honor them privately and publicly when victory comes. What might happen if you broadened your search for helpers to include books and online resources? What might happen if you grabbed onto God’s promise to give wisdom to anyone who asks and hung on for dear life? Weary friend, I hope this blog will be helpful to you.
Share the story of a time when someone helped you through a seemingly insurmountable problem.
–Laura B. wrote, “Wonderful reminder that everyone needs help sometimes! Becoming a mom and learning to take care of baby while I’m exhausted (especially breastfeeding) has had me asking for more help than ever! And God has been so faithful in giving us a beautiful boy who is growing like a champ through it all.”
–Lynn J. wrote, “Perfect timing and so encouraging! I once swam from that island to shore. I know that view well. I remember looking back and seeing the island growing smaller…just like my troubles.”
–Deborah C. wrote, “I think of a time when I asked myself if faith was stronger than fear. I thought I was going to lose my mother-in-law to a broken hip and sepsis. But God pulled all of us through and she lived for another two years, until she peacefully passed away in her sleep this month. Faith won.”