John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the words for generations: “Help me, if you can, I’m feeling down — help me get my feet back on the ground.” Another of their hits celebrated: “We get by with a little help from our friends.”A Facebook meme observes that some of us have reached the wonder years — I wonder where my glasses are; I wonder where I parked the car; I wonder what I was supposed to remember! Every computer software, game, hardware and device come with a HELP button or page.
And yet I still insist on being independent and doing things MY WAY. My own sinful nature gets me into trouble, sabotages my success, and separates me from those who could love me most. Going it alone, however, is my preferred method.
The One who died and rose again for our salvation has promised never to leave us alone and forsaken. Jesus endured those horrors while he was dying. He did it so that no one else should ever have to face that terror.
The Gospel writer Luke recorded these words of Jesus: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NIV)
The Father who sent his Son to die and rise again for us is ready with help far greater than we can imagine. God is ready to provide help when we finally admit that we need it.
Jesus’ words used familiar images: fish, snake, egg, scorpion. You have learned already that the early Christian church started using the sign of a fish as a mark for Jesus. You also remember that the Scriptures often show Satan as a snake. We just passed the holiday when children search for colored eggs. Perhaps you have already learned that scorpions can be deadly.
Trying to get through life on our own — that’s about as wise as fooling around with snakes and scorpions. Asking for help, especially from the One who promises to give good gifts to those who ask, is our first step on our journey of recovery from mistakes, from bad decisions, from addictions, from guilt and shame.
These are some other words from Jesus of Nazareth: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 NIV)
When we trust our Lord’s invitation to ask for help, we begin to understand that our Father is always around us, blessing, helping, guiding and directing our lives,
Let’s pray: Lord, have mercy upon me. Lift me from my depression. Fill me with your Spirit, Work in me the resurrection life, helping me to live and love abundantly. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Take some time to read these bits of Scripture. Psalm 130; Jonah 2; and Luke 11:1-13