Aside

God’s Help

I think some people have this strange idea of God as some sort of divine puppet-master. A while ago I heard someone complaining that they were asking God for help and nothing happened so they were angry at God. But when I asked them what steps they were taking to solve the problems they had, the answer was a resounding “nothing”.

A good parent does not simply do everything for their child. A good parent helps and supports their child, but doesn’t just hand them everything on a platter. People often ask God for help but are unwilling to put in any effort themselves. They expect God to hand them everything on a platter. That is not the way it works. If one falls into a pit, God will help them. His arm is reaching down to pull them out. But they have to reach out and take His hand. He is always there, reaching out to us. He is just waiting for us to accept His help.

We are also thwarted so often by our expectations of what God’s actions are. There is a joke I was once told about a man who was caught in a flood. Two men came by in a boat to rescue him but he waved them away saying “the Lord will save me.” Another boat came along but again the man said “the Lord will save me.” A helicopter arrived but the man once again just said “the Lord will save me.” The man ended up drowning and at the gates of heaven he angrily asked St. Peter “Why didn’t the Lord save me?” St. Peter replied “For crying out loud, He sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more do you want?”

God may not work in the ways we expect Him to, or give us exactly what we are expecting, but He is there. Our heavenly Father does not abandon us. But He also does what it best for us. The Lord is not just going to hand you everything on a platter. He does not carry us: He helps us to walk. He will help you, not do everything for you. We are not passive in the works of God, but active participants and co-operators.

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