Ever-Present Help

– Pastor Brandon’s article from the July 2018 Newsletter

“Dad!” – I couldn’t tell you the number of times I hear that name every day. William and Kate love to have me around, and whenever I’m with them I feel like I am constantly in an echo chamber. “Dad, dad, DAD!” Usually, they call out because they need something or want something. They ask questions, show me things that interest them, or simply want my undivided attention. The requests never seem to end.

Humanly speaking, I can certainly be overwhelmed by the constant calls for attention. However, from another perspective it makes me realize their dependence on me. In their eyes, I am the big, strong adult, and they are relatively weak and powerless to change their world. I am the one who can really make something happen so they come to me for help. I know as they get older they will develop a growing sense of independence and their calls for “dad” will grow fewer and fewer. But for now, whenever I am with them, my kids’ first instinct is to call for dad. This makes me think about my relationship with my heavenly father. How often do I assume I’ve got it all under control when I really should be calling out for “Dad”?

The psalmist says:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46)

In this psalm, the writer speaks of all the trouble and dangers that we encounter in the world. Yet, he expresses his confidence in the ever-present help of the Lord Almighty. There are times in life when everything feels chaotic and it seems like the world is falling apart. Whenever problems arise, we can be quick to try to solve them by ourselves. We put our strength and understanding to work to find an answer. We try to figure it out as if everything depends upon us.

Too often, we turn to God only after we’ve exhausted our resources and ourselves. But this psalm reminds us that the Lord Almighty is with us. We need to train ourselves to turn to God first. He is our refuge. Our safety and security is found in him, not in our abilities or resources. I’m not saying that our knowledge and skills are useless, only that they aren’t our ultimate source of power. We need to recognize our dependence on God and call out to him. He is always present to help us. He will strengthen his people so that they do not fall. In him there is blessing and joy. Even when the things are falling apart and people are in an uproar, we do not need to be afraid. He is with us and he will protect us. He is able to put an end to the things that threaten our existence. We need only be still and trust his power. He will step in and rescue us and in the process his name will be lifted high and people will see his glory. So, let your first instinct be to call out for “Dad!”

Pastor Brandon