Have you ever needed help but it didn’t come?
There was a period in my life when all I wanted was help. But all I found from people was rejection. I was rejected so many times I stopped asking. Some of the reasons for rejection made me so angry and cut so deeply into my heart. They were hard to forgive. Couldn’t they see that what I needed was so much more important than the trivial reason they couldn’t help?
Have you ever felt like that?
One day I stood at the kitchen sink, a regular pastime, my hands are like sandpaper they spend so much time in water, and I remembered a girl I’d discipled years ago. She was the daughter of a work colleague of mine. This colleague discovered that I had come to Christianity out of a pretty immoral background and she asked me to spend time with her daughter who was struggling with sex and drugs and asking a whole lot of questions. So we arranged to meet. We read the bible together, simple stuff, just got into the word and talked about how it applied to our lives and we prayed. It went on like this for about a year. She’d come to me for 2 hours then return to her life. Nothing seemed to change but she kept coming.
Then she got pregnant. She’d tried to take a drug overdose. In the hospital after the doctors had pumped her stomach they did a routine ultrasound and there was the baby 11weeks and waving.
Things changed then.
No more did she come to see me. Instead she returned to her sinking relationship and attempted to bail out the water and steady the ship to prepare for the baby but it only got worse.
Two years later we got in contact again and she wanted me to meet the baby. So I went round to her new home. For work she had found a fantastic role that suited the baby it was so good to see her settled. However, she was in the middle of a custody battle with the baby’s father.
When I walked in the first thing I noticed were all the sticky notes around the walls. Bible verses, hand written in thick marker colours, wallpapered every room.
Towards the end of her pregnancy she had stumbled back to a church. At the door a strange man held out his hand to welcome her. She said to him, “I’m pregnant, and I’m not married.”
“Great,” he replied, “we’re all sinners here. You’ll fit right in. Welcome!” and he showed her to a seat inside beside his wife.
The church was called ‘Liberty’ and my friend told me she had never found such freedom in Christ as she had found since she came back to him broken, his prodigal daughter.
The sticky notes impressed me so much, everywhere I looked God was speaking to me. It was comforting, reassuring, encouraging and rebuking. I imagined this was how she felt every day.
She had asked me to come pray with her about her custody court hearing the following day. The father of her baby was still on drugs and was incapable of looking after the child. However, he was angry that she had left him so he was pretending to be clean for the courts. They were up to a point in the hearing where all that was left was to divide the hours of their baby between them. My friend had represented herself throughout the case and her ex-boyfriend had obtained a lawyer. Things had gone very badly for her.
So we prayed. The next day as she prepared herself for the court, she read in her bible the story of Moses leading the Israelites away from Egypt. The Israelites could see Pharoah’s chariots pursing them, they were hemmed in by the desert and the Red Sea. Just like my friend who was hemmed in by the lies of her ex and his legal team.
That morning as she read Exodus 14:13-14, she felt in her heart that God was speaking to her.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
That day the ex-boyfriend was a no-show at the Court House. My friend stood silently in place for fifteen minutes waiting for the Lord to blow back the waters of her Red Sea. She did not look at the door, like the Israelites, God had moved behind her and she could no longer see anything but the Lord at work.
Then the gavel dropped and with it she gained full and permanent custody of her daughter. Praise be to God.
So on that day, at the kitchen sink, when I felt desperate for help, I put up my version of ‘sticky notes’ in honour of my friend and to let God speak to me in my kitchen. I looked for all the verses about ‘God is my help’ in the bible. And I read them and I said them and I learnt them and I prophesied them until I knew, and I felt and I saw, without a doubt, that God himself was my ever present helper.
Psalm 46:1-2 says,
God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.
If you need God as your help I thought I’d share some photos of my favourite ‘not quite sticky notes’ to encourage you. I still use them (you can see the grease spots). In fact I got them out the other day to stick back up for my husband who is a bit snowed under at the moment. I just wanted to remind myself and him and you that no one can help like the Lord can help. No one can give us a victory like the Lord’s victory.
A prayer for you today, if you feel that the Lord has hidden his face and yet you would like to dance instead of wail and you would like to be clothed with joy instead of ashes and you would like to sing praises but your heart is silent, is Psalm 30;10,
“Hear Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord be my help.”
I will pray it for you too.
If you have been encouraged please like, comment or share this post with someone else who may need it’s encouragement.
God be with you, may the Lord be your helper, may you have no fear.