“Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:18 (ESV)
“If I can get to the end of this section, I’ll be OK,” I told myself. I willed my legs to move forward, but they felt like Jell-O. The ropes course stretched out ahead, and I forced myself not to look down.
As I watched my boys go on with ease, I wondered, Why did I agree to this adventure? Oh yes, to spend time with my kids and make memories. My body begged me to stop and shook in one final attempt to surpass the obstacle. Then I heard the instructor say it: “Do you need help?”
What I wanted to say was “Yes.” But I hesitated. My pride said, “Keep going. Show your boys how strong you are.” But after several moments, I knew I couldn’t pull myself over the wood plank blocking my path. “Yes,” I replied. “I do.”
If I’m honest, my reluctance to let the instructor help me is a reflection of what often happens in my spiritual life. Instead of inviting God into a difficult situation, I act as though He’s not there. When life’s stresses leave me anxious and I realize everyday burdens are too much, instead of calling out, I hesitate. I convince myself I already know how the story will end.
When we look in Scripture, too, we see this mindset. It’s not new; it simply presents itself in new ways. Take Elijah, for example — after he demonstrated God’s power to the Baal worshippers by calling down fire from heaven, he heard of Jezebel’s plot to kill him. Instead of turning to God, he ran.
God met Elijah on Mount Horeb, where He asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9b, ESV). Elijah said he was the only one left who’d been faithful to the Lord, and he was tired. He’d been zealous, and everyone had turned against him. But was this true?
Elijah thought he knew the end of the story, but God had been raising up an army.
“Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)
It isn’t until we see our need for God that He shows us the army He’s raising on our behalf. It’s there, in our humility, that He reveals His plan to us. Sometimes God humbles us with earthquakes and wind, like He did with Elijah, and other times He humbles us with our inability to move any further. His purpose is never to stop our forward movement but to bring us to the Guide. He opens the door to the next chapter a little wider, and He gives us a glimpse of what He’s doing. But we have to ask. We have to acknowledge we don’t have the answers.
When I finally asked the instructor for help, she pulled me to the next platform, then let me complete the course. By letting her assist me, I was able to experience the exhilaration of the zip line finish. I had assumed we’d skip this part, but I was wrong. Asking for help ended up opening the door to a new adventure.
The same is true when we ask for help from God.
God, thank You for always being ready to help us when we need it. You never judge our inability to carry life’s burdens, but You are ready to take the weight from us if we ask. Help us to remember that inviting You into our circumstances opens doors only You can open. Our weariness is the exact point when You do some of Your best work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 121:2, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)
Is there an area of your life where you need to ask for help, but fear or another emotion is holding you back? What might you gain by inviting God into the situation?
Can you think of a time when God answered a prayer in a way that was different from how you anticipated? What did this answer reveal about God’s character?
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
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