Where do you turn when you’re looking for help?
Is it to your spouse? A close friend? We all hope to have people that are reliable to turn to in times of need. And that is because, sooner or later, we will all have needs that overwhelm us; issues facing our lives that we cannot get through alone.
You may not fully believe it yet, but Jesus is one of the names that ought to be on your list. Perhaps you may not think of Him as someone who can actually help. But I’m hoping that today’s short devotional message will open your eyes to see things in a different light.
The bible declares something about God that both encourages us and leads us to ask some questions.
HE HAS DONE MARVELOUS THINGS
When reading through the pages of the Bible, one is struck by the reports of the amazing things God has done for His people. In recent days we’ve spoken about some of them together. God preserving Daniel, even in the midst of a den of ravenous lions. Protecting the three young men in Babylon from the fiery furnace the king had intended for their execution. His miraculous feeding of thousands of families from a few small food items. All stories of His power, marvelous interventions of His grace.
Many people hear accounts like this, are encouraged by God’s power, and then ask “Where are the demonstrations of His power today?” First of all, it’s a fair question. And if you’re asking it, you’re neither the first nor are you alone. Even Habakkuk, whom we spoke about yesterday, asked the same question! He told God, “I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by.” He was asking God to revive His mighty works in our day.
Part of the answer to that request is quite simple. God IS at work in these days, though perhaps you’ve not seen the accounts of His actions. Our new channels are not exactly focusing on God. Instead we get bombarded with stories of war, death and destruction. The crisis of the hour. In the news world, the rule of thumb is “If it BLEEDS, it LEADS.” If your lead news story can feature blood and gore, lots of people will watch it.
But I want to share a couple of stories that SHOULD HAVE been real bleeders and leaders; except they weren’t … because God stepped in.
Whenever I think of God’s divine intervention, I cannot help but remember the time my wife Pat and I were moving a bureau into the basement of our home. I was walking backwards down the steps as she and I carried it. I got a few steps down the staircase, and suddenly I tripped and began to fall backwards down the wooden steps. At the bottom of the steps was a poured concrete floor, not a forgiving landing pad. An image flashed in my mind of me smashing my skull against the concrete below just as the heavy bureau landed on my chest. There was nothing I could grab onto, and no one around to help. I wish I could say something like, “In my time of danger, I cried out ‘Jesus, save me,’ but the truth is that it never occurred to me. (Yeah, that’s right, the Bishop forgot to pray!!!!)
Seriously, it all happened so quickly that, as it turns out, the answer arrived before the prayer could have been made. As I was falling helplessly backwards, I felt a strong hand in the middle of my back. It pushed me upright and held me until I was able to regain my balance. I was shocked, to say the least. There was no one in the basement. (Or at least no one I could see!!) Even when I turned around to see who had stopped me from falling, I couldn’t see anyone. In my case, God not only stepped in, He pushed!!
God is able to protect us when we cannot protect ourselves. He sees dangers we cannot, and is able to respond in the blink of an eye.
Donna Griffith from Lafayette, Tennessee shared a story with the well-known publication Guideposts about a time when God literally saved her life and the life of her mother.
They enjoyed evening walks together after Donna had returned home from work. During one such walk they approached a major intersection. “Look both ways before you cross,” her Mom said; though they were both adults. “Always the mother hen,” Donna jokingly replied. There weren’t any cars coming, so they stepped into the crosswalk. But halfway across the street, the screech of tires made them aware of a car barreling toward them! There was no time to run. Donna got a one word prayer out of her mouth as she braced for the impact of the car hitting her – “Jesus …” (Hey, at least SHE remembered to pray, right ?!?!)
Here’s her own description of what happened next. “That’s when I felt them: two strong hands on my upper arms. The car was so close I could make out specks of dirt on the shiny front grille. The hands lifted me up and pulled me backward, and I felt a rush of wind as the car passed right in front of me. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the sidewalk across the street, the cool concrete under my palms. “Mom!” I yelled. I expected to see her lying injured in the road. But she was sitting a few feet away from me on the sidewalk, looking bewildered.”
“Are you all right?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “Are you?”
The Mom replied, “I’m fine. Someone picked me up right before the car hit and set me down over here. But how did you get away in time?”
“Whoever helped you somehow helped me too,” I said.
Even though they looked around in every direction, there was no one in sight. There was, however, someone who could not be seen with the human eye. And there is something about Him that you ought to know …
HE HAS DONE MARVELOUS THINGS
Stories like this warm our hearts and may even bring a tear to our eye. But they also raise some questions, too. Time and again as I’ve shared stories like this with people, there’s one question I hear repeated often. So let me answer the real question your heart is asking right now.
Yes, God is willing to help YOU. Sometimes God’s help stops things from taking our lives or injuring our bodies, and at other times He simply steps in and gives us the grace and strength to walk through difficult times. God doesn’t promise those who serve Him will never face suffering, injury or other crises. Part of me wishes He did, but He knows better.
He DOES promise that He will never leave us or forsake us.
He DOES promise that He will give us a Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be in us.
He DOES promise that He will strengthen us and uphold us with His powerful right hand.
He DOES promise that He will work everything He allows in our lives together for good.
News media says, “If it BLEEDS, it LEADS.” But there’s a better approach to finding the help you need in life.
Why not let the One who bleeds be the One who leads YOU.
HE HAS DONE MARVELOUS THINGS