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Please Help!

By Rebecca Riggs, Synod Communications Manager

Some days are hard—the tasks we have set for ourselves, the good intentions, the plans we have made, the effort we have put in, and it feels like we can’t get through it all by ourselves. And that’s okay. We were created to ask for help and to help others.

Hebrews 4:16 reminds us that we can even approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

In the 21st century – Winners! and FAILS! are pasted across social media, and we live in a time where independence and individuality are considered much more powerful than humility and sacrifice. It’s sometimes hard to ask for help – maybe we don’t want to seem weak or incapable, so we keep on trying alone, in our own strength.

I give thanks for a broken ankle that taught me just how much help God has placed in the world for me. I was a single mum of two school-aged children in hospital telling the doctors – “I have to drive!

You don’t understand – I have to get my kids to school, do the shopping, all the things – I can’t just not drive!” They were not swayed, pretty unsurprisingly, and my dear friend Kaz came and collected me from hospital – happy to help when asked.

Over the next six weeks, parents from school (some of whom I didn’t know well) offered to help with school drop-offs and pick-ups, and friends and family stepped in to fill the gaps and deliver some delicious home-cooked meals. It was honestly extraordinary. I am so very thankful to each of them.

It is true that people do not always come through to help us, as it is also true that there are times that we have failed to help other people when we should have. Sometimes it is intentional, but more often that not it is from a lack of understanding, fear or lack of capacity, or the blindness of a self centered life.

In all these circumstances, we can pray and ask for help. We can seek forgiveness and the bravery to make amends. We can ask God to help us when we are lost and ask Christ to guide us through, no matter what we face.

Psalm 22 gives me words to echo when I feel despair. It also, importantly, reminds me to think about the many times I have been loved and helped before … to trust that God will travel with me through it all and to give thanks, abundant thanks, “proclaiming his righteousness.”

Good Friday is a hard day—Christ is bleeding on the cross, being carried to the tomb. But it is also a day to remind us all just how much we are loved, how much we have been forgiven, and how much each of us has been helped. If we ever feel despised and rejected, we can remember that Jesus took our pain and bore our suffering and realise that Christ made a Way when there was no way.

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