By Heidi Goehmann
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
“Help” is one of the hardest words we ever have to say.
It shouldn’t be. God loves help.
God the Father, Son and Spirit exist as a Trinity. God sent Jesus to us in the flesh because He knew we were in need of help. He created the Body of Christ rather than doing all the work of the Kingdom on His own.
God is certainly never in need of us, but He invites us to help each other as part of His work on this earth.
Perhaps this small theological rundown can change our perspective on help when we need it in our own lives.
Help is an invitation in more ways than one: It reminds us of who we are in relationship to a mighty and loving God. It creates relationship as we reach into one another’s lives, sharing the Gospel in our trials.
It also encourages our neighbors to ask for help, contradicting the devil’s lie that we can live this life on our own and the shame he would try to plague us with for asking.
The devil loves shame. Offering help and asking for help both stomp out that shame, reminding the devil that he was defeated by Christ so very long ago.
Let’s look at three compelling reasons to ask for help sooner, rather than later, in our own lives:
Compelling reason No. 1 — Desperation
Sometimes life hands you lemons. Sometimes life hands you lemons ground to a pulp, smashed by a semi-truck, and left to rot on the side of the road. Yeah, it can get that bad.
As wonderful as life is, it can also be very hard. Desperation is a very good reason to ask for help.
The Psalms remind us that God reaches into the pits of our lives and lifts us out (Psalm 103:4). Waiting for a moment of desperation isn’t necessary, but there is no shame in asking for help in the bottom-of-the-pit-moments.
Without Christ as our Savior, we would all be there forever. As His baptized children, God places His Spirit in us to well up, to groan, to cry out … to help us find help.
God very often works in our lives through other people. Let His Body tend to you in your desperate moments.
Compelling reason No. 2 — Connection
I read an article some time ago that stated that our culture has moved from “rugged individualism” to “ragged individualism.” This resonates with what I see happening in our churches and communities.
The lie that we can do this life on our own persists in the “bootstrap” culture of America in particular, and it’s taking its toll.
The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, reminds us, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Rom. 12:12–13).
We were not intended to live the daily grind of life on our own, and it is infinitely harder for the Body to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2) if we don’t open ourselves up to receiving help.
We are connected by the needs we have. The contribution system for the church designed by God — offerings and tithes — shows our reliance on God and one another.
When we contribute money, service or time, and then receive help in turn, we are much more deeply connected than as outsiders waiting and watching God intercede.
We are part of His intercessions, and we can see that work more clearly because we asked for help and received it from each other.
Psalm 121 reminds us that our feet stand firm not because we are steady on our own but because God is holding us, and there is a whole Body of believers ready to hold us on the sure foundation of Christ.
“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.”
Compelling reason No. 3 — Growth
When I was little, I can remember waking my mother up in the middle of the night with terrible growing pains. These were sometimes slow aches, and other times there were sharp pains shooting up and down my legs.
My mom would remind me, “God is growing something in you.” And then she would give me acetaminophen and tuck me back in.
In these moments in the middle of the night, she taught me that it’s OK to both want the pain or the struggle to end and know that God is growing something while we lean on Him.
Most of the time, needing is no fun. It’s possible that we can grow in small ways without being in need.
But the more I experience of my own life, as well as life as a deaconess and licensed counselor, the more I have realized that it is our times of need which bring the most growth — spiritual, emotional, intellectual, relational and vocational.
I want to grow, but rarely, if ever, do I want the pains that go alongside growing.
Asking for help is itself a part of growing. Reaching out stretches our muscles of kindness and compassion toward others even before we receive the kindness and compassion of which we find ourselves in need.
Again, Psalm 121 holds the promises of God for us when we need help:
“The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
When we ask for help, we trust in our Helper God and rest in His promises. God doesn’t strike. He doesn’t reject. He keeps our lives. He keeps us from birth until death and each day in between.
Our Bright Morning Star shines help into our lives when we are in need, and we shine His light both when we provide help in His name and when we ask for help.
Slide this onto today’s to-do list:
Today, I need help with ____________________________ .