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Mythbusters #4: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Please enjoy this fantastic guest post by my friend, Helen, and visit her beautiful blog at www.helenwashington.com.

 

Mondays represent a blank canvas, a fresh start to me.

After a summer of fiery trials for many in my prayer group, the promise of a new start was like drinking a Slurpee in a desert.

It had been our custom to gather on Mondays.

I issued an invitation to each downtrodden member of our group to come armed with a delicacy and a newly added verse from their arsenal.

I hoped we would encourage one another with words of truth.

We hugged, laughed and stuffed our bellies and souls to satisfaction with the feast of being reconnected in our joys and sorrows.

One by one we shared scriptures which had comforted our hearts.

There was collective sighing and nodding of heads in united agreement.

The last precious one spoke the words which had buoyed her spirits,

 “God helps those who help themselves.”

When she finished expressing the comfort she had received, the room fell silent as 6 innocent words took residence in the air.

I spoke softly before the pause could turn awkward, uttered the woman’s name and gently told her that this sentiment was not actually a verse.

Another woman’s voice echoed mine and revealed that it was an anecdote.

The width between walls of defensiveness and a flung open door of acceptance is tissue paper fragile.

Our friend chose the door with a welcome mat and we placed our feet alongside hers.

She threw her chin back as far as her fused neck would allow and let out a laugh which invited our participation.

We took turns recalling our own aptitude to exchange God’s words with mortal ink.

Although this gathering occurred years ago, I have often recalled those 6 words and how they fail in their description of God.

God is our Helper.

God’s ability or willingness to help is not dependent upon our actions.

 

Envision the familiar scenario of a messy bedroom, a displeased parent and an overwhelmed or perhaps unconcerned child.

A teeter totter exchange may ensue between the two.

A compromise might be brokered, parental assistance upon progress.

God doesn’t make deals or insist, “You first, then I’m in!”

God walks into our messy rooms.

He sits on unmade beds and remains.

Whether our lives need a thorough cleaning or a comforter gently tucked beneath our chins,

He helps us.

He is our helper, the keeper of our lives.

When we place our actions or behaviors before God’s, we believe if we do the heavy lifting first, God will be summoned to move on our behalf.

If I try hard enough, then God will add His muscle.

When I am good, God will love me.

God has no need of additional defining outside of Himself.

He is who He is.

One of hundreds of definitions declares God as our Helper.

Sayings of old can bring temporary relief.

Knowing God’s eternal word will bring absolute truth and peace.

Dear ones,

your Help is on the way.

 

 

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

You have been my helper.

Yet I am poor and needy,
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer.

 

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in My name,
He will teach you all things,
and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

 

Psalm 121:1
Psalm 46:1
Psalm 27:9
Psalm 40:17
Isaiah 41:10
Isaiah 50:7
John 14:26

 

 

 

October 8, 2013 - 6:31 am

Linda Gregoire - Love this. In times of trouble, you learn quickly where you help comes from 🙂

October 10, 2013 - 4:30 pm

Sue Jensen - Bo,
Thank you for your encouraging words as you always inspire me to be a better person. I do understand the frustrations of the women behind the wheelchair. My brother has ALS, and I have a granddaughter missing most of her left arm, so like that woman I understand and I know you do too. I have learned through my own adversity that I must constantly ask God for grace before venturing out in public to face the many stares. God definitely knew your heart and motives which were totally pure in every way. Maybe that lady had someone say something unkind to her which put her on the defense. I know I have been there too, that’s why I need God’s continual refueling of GRACE especially towards others.
Thank you for sharing your heart. My broth is scheduled for surgery next Thursday for a trach, ventilator and feeding tube. He was given 3-5 years and is on his 6th year. I knew this day would come but it is difficult to know that next week will be my last time to talk to him. Prayers for you and your husband as you trust God with the journey ahead. May He be your constant companion and comfort as you continue to trust him with each new day.
Sue Jensen

October 20, 2013 - 2:48 pm

cynthia - God spoke to me through your writing today! I really love the sharing of the old cliché, “God helps those who help themselves”. I have allowed this nonbiblical thinking to creep in to my life a few to many times. Praise our almighty God for his help when I could not help myself. Thank you for sharing this.

Cynthia

November 5, 2013 - 9:28 am

Andrea - Just last week I needed to live the truth that God is my helper in the midst of the most dire circumstances. I will write this verse on my heart and live by faith in a God who rescues His loved ones. Thank you for the encouragement in what could be a rather dark time. Instead, thankfully, the light dawns.

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.

Amen.