I need help.
As a sight impaired person, I function so well, most people don’t realize I can’t see. I do function well, as long as I’m in familiar settings and familiar with what I’m doing. Drop me into a strange store or ask me to do something different, and my helplessness blazes across my life in thirty-six pitch letters.
The difficulty comes when I don’t want to admit what everyone else knows.
“Need help, Karen?”
“Nope, I’ve got this.”
Yeah, right. And my friends have the good sense to not interfere.
To get help, you have to admit you have a problem.
In Psalm 121, the writer knew he needed help and the best place to get help. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth (v.2).”
My friends are a great source for finding a dropped sewing needle or directing me an obscure item in a store. But I insist on using my inferior methods: crawling on the floor to feel for the needle (ouch!), or wandering aimlessly around the store, wasting my driver’s time as I try to find that obscure item on my list by myself.
I know I’m extra stubborn. Most people kindly call it independent. Yet how often do I—and the rest of us—try to solve life problems with our inferior strength. Asking God for help first would save us so much time and grief. Yet we work and work, lifting a mental hand toward the heavens as we stubbornly tell God, “I’ve got this.”
After all, agreeing about the need for help would be admitting we’re weak and incapable. There is something within all of us that wants to, borrowing an Asian expression, “save face.” After all, we reason, we don’t want to bother anyone. Don’t they have their own overloaded to-do list and weaknesses they’re struggling to overcome? Maybe the other person doesn’t want to help and they would say yes only out of duty and obligation. Who wants an unwilling helper?
We can’t use those excuses about God. He is none of those things.
Man is fallible, yet God is not. He has said he wants to help us. He’s never too busy. He can do anything we ask of Him. And He finds delight in doing life together with us.
What makes God superior help? Psalm 121 gives the story.
God is always able.
God is the Maker of Heaven and Earth (Ps 121:2). If we get lost on a mountain path, the Designer of the earth ought to know the best way to the destination. If we are caught in a natural disaster, the One who made the earth knows how to fix it. He invites us to tap into His great, unfathomable wisdom; in fact, He longs to share it with us.
God is always aware.
The word “watch” appears five times within Psalm 121. God is not a human that He could fall asleep on the job. He loves us and cares about what happens to us. He is never too busy doing something else. Unlike distracted produce workers in a grocery store who have too much to do in too little time to bother with a customer’s request, God is instantly available to help us.
God is always attentive.
God’s watchfulness is not passive. He is ever alert, ready to protect us and ward off the things that might harm us. Like the comfort He gave to Sarah’s servant, Hagar, in the wilderness (see Genesis 16:13), He not only sees our dilemma, He wants to be involved in resolving the issue.
Psalm 121:6 says all harm. That includes both vicious, instant, unexpected attacks and slow, draining, life-sucking harm like sun rays, for God acts as a sun shield that will keep us strong and energetic for the moments when we need to be strong (see v. 5). God invites us to ask for his help both in the daily grind and the foxhole moments of life.
How does God’s help become apparent to us?
How have I seen Him provide help when I ask? He’s sent some of those fallible human beings to intersect my path at just the right moment. He’s put names in my brain of people to ask for help. And other times, God has filled my thoughts with solutions so I can fix the problem on my own. When people think I’m so capable and strong because I look like a DIY kind of woman, I laugh behind my hand. No, not on my own by far. I and my unseen God accomplished this job. Together.
What desperate situation do you face? God is waiting to hear from you. Start the dialogue by saying, “Lord, I have a problem.” Next tell Him, “I know that You, Lord, are the One who can fix it.” He already knows you can’t manage life completely on your own, so why not admit it to Him? He’s the best help available because He is capable, watchful, and powerful. He cares about what happens to you.