Meerkat at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Ask God for help before you need it

I used to work a customer service type of job. It was a position dedicated to helping people find their answers, and even though it was a lot of work, I enjoyed it. The service in customer service is usually fun, until you get a customer who isn’t very nice.

But speaking from the customer’s standpoint (because the customer is always right, right?), I have been in situations where I didn’t receive very good customer service. I came looking for help or looking for answers, and there was no one there to help me. Or the people who were there weren’t very helpful.

Not only is that irritating, it’s discouraging. I’m not one of those people who goes to customer service straight off the bat. I try to figure it out myself first, and if I can’t, then I ask for help. But if the people who are supposed to help me won’t, then it seems like my problem will never be solved because I can’t do it on my own.

Meerkat at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Meerkat at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 69:32.

The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
    Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.

How fortunate are we that God isn’t like a lazy customer service person? He’s our loving Father who wants to help us and who is infinitely qualified to do so.

Not that He’s like a customer service line. God doesn’t work like that. Actually, most of the time, He’s helping behind the scenes before we even know we need His help.

But God never turns anyone who comes seeking Him away. Not ever. Never once in history has He turned someone who came seeking Him away, no matter who they are or what they did. Anyone who came to Him for help, He helped.

So have you asked Him for help today? Or are you stubborn like me and insist on trying to make it through life without His help?

Believe me, the more you try to figure life out on your own, the more trouble you’ll make for yourself. It’s so much better to just start out asking for His help instead of getting to the point where you can’t take another step without Him. Wouldn’t it be better to take the first step with Him?

Be encouraged. God is waiting for you to ask for His help today, so don’t wait. God wants to help us, and we’re nuts if we tell Him we can do it ourselves. Because we can’t.

So what do you need help with? A job? A family member? A friend? Whatever situation you’re in, God can help. He knows what to do. He has an eternity of wisdom to offer. So call Him up and see what He says. You don’t have to talk to a computer, and He won’t try to sell you anything. No strings attached.

Bright flowers on Bolivar Island - Galveston, TX

Witnessing how God works

Sometimes it’s difficult for me to believe that God is actually willing to listen to our problems. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that my life is so important to Him that He would take time to pay attention to my petty issues. But what really amazes me is that God doesn’t just listen to me, He actively gets involved in my life.

Bright flowers on Bolivar Island - Galveston, TX

Bright flowers on Bolivar Island – Galveston, TX

Today’s verse is Isaiah 65:24.

I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs,
    I will go ahead and answer their prayers!

Remember we’re talking about God here. God who made the stars, who made air, who made water, who made time itself. God cares enough about us that He’ll answer our prayers before we even know to pray them? That’s huge.

After reading all of Isaiah 65, though, I think this one verse may be taken out of context (but that’s a topic for another devo). But there are other verses throughout Scripture that state this very thing: that God knows what we need before we need it. There’s a verse in Matthew where Christ is talking about the differences between earthly fathers and our Heavenly Father, saying that if human fathers know to do good things for their children, God knows to do even better things for us.

I had an experience with this recently. I had a problem. I mean, it wasn’t a problem problem. It was just going to be something that would cause issues in the future, but it wasn’t something that I could do anything about. I know everyone has probably been there, stuck with a situation that you can’t control that’s going to make your life difficult. But instead of worrying about it, I decided that I was going to just let God take care of it.

Well, surprise surprise, He did.

I found out a few weeks later that the problem was taken care of. And not only was it not even an issue anymore, everyone involved was happy about it. And I didn’t have to do a single thing. God arranged everything to work out in exactly the way it needed to. And what’s more, after I thought about the timing of the whole issue, I realized that He was actually working it out before I had even asked Him to do anything.

If you follow Christ, this is the God you have on your side. If you believe in Jesus, this is the God who wants to be part of your daily life.

But this concept brings up a question. If He already knows what we’re going to ask for, why do we need to ask?

Maybe this is just me, but I think it’s a pride issue. I know it’s a pride issue in my life. I don’t ask for things. I do them myself. If I have to ask someone for help, that’s an indication of weakness on my part, and in my mind, that’s unacceptable. It shouldn’t be that way because everyone needs help, and I’m learning how to ask for things. But for me to humble myself and realize that I can’t do it all on my own is an act of worship.

If I can look at my life and step back and tell God that I need help, that’s me recognizing that I can’t control my life. That’s me letting go, and that’s healthy for me, emotionally and spiritually.

How do you treat your friends? Your real friends? If you never talk to them, if you never express a need to them, how will they ever know you? And how will they ever have the opportunity to prove themselves true friends if you don’t give them the chance? It’s the same way with God. Expressing a need to God not only helps you remember that you aren’t all-powerful but it also gives you the chance to witness how God can work.

If He answers your prayer after you ask, it’s amazing. It’s the most amazing experience to know that He’s listening. But what will really blow your mind is how He works things out before you even know they’re going wrong. And He does that all the time.

Don’t be afraid to ask. He knows what you need, but He wants to hear you ask for it. Because half the time, I’m convinced we don’t realize we need it until we ask. And then He’s there to gently bop us on the head and remind us that He’s got everything under control … and that He always has.