“Our help is the LORD” (v. 8, NIV).
This passage has a number of near-misses: people attacked us; a flood came; we were trapped. But we weren’t overcome. We didn’t drown, we escaped. Our help is the Lord.
This is one of the biblical precepts that I struggle with most. I had a problem, but God blessed me and solved it (in spite of my stupidity). I survived a wreck. I got sick and was healed. My car was caught in a flood, but the water pushed me onto higher ground and I drove away safely. But also, my college buddy was gunned down because he dated the wrong girl. My mother got sick and died at 59. This morning’s news reported that people died in floods and fires they couldn’t escape. So where was their help? Where was the Lord when their crises showed up?
I don’t know. And before you write to the Reflections editor to complain about including this doubting Thomas, let me posit this as well: you don’t know either. When I hear “I’ve been blessed” in a religious sense, it often sounds like, “I’ve been lucky because I got something I don’t really deserve.”
Perhaps that is where “Our help is the LORD” makes sense. When good things happen, we must be grateful because we don’t often deserve them. We must be thankful to those around us who enabled those good things to occur. And when bad things happen that we don’t deserve, the same is true. We must be grateful when the Lord’s help shows up in the loving care of those around us.
We are God’s eyes, ears, hands and feet on this earth. Our help is in the Lord who made us in God’s image. The Lord’s help can also be us.
Who around me needs God’s help?
Forgive me for believing I am solely responsible for my good fortune. Forgive me for believing I must carry the burden of life’s challenges alone. Forgive me for ignoring those who need help.