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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Need Help to Help

I've blogged more than once about "God-appointments."
These are the unexpected turns of events that wonderfully disrupt the Christian's day.
Most of my God-appointments have been immediately apparent:
  • A stranger's car goes off the icy road, and she's stuck. We stop to give her a ride.
  • A phone call from a friend that unexpectedly reveals a great spiritual or physical need.
  • A frenzied knock on my front door and suddenly I'm taking in and shielding an entire family from the physical threat of another family member.
  • I go to a conference, eager to receive, but instead, spend most of the conference listening to and trying to comfort several upset writers.
God appointments are almost never expected. 
The Lord almost never gives me a heads-up about the little crisis that is headed my way later in the day.

(Why is that?)

Years ago, I was in the middle of one of the greatest challenges of my life. I called a friend on the phone and simply said, "help!"
My friend drove over and sat with me. Just sat, wrapped her arms around me, and cried with me.
She didn't preach or quote scripture or offer platitudes.
I was her God-appointment for the day.

How can you be ready for that?

I often wonder if perhaps God doesn't give us a heads-up about our impending "appointment" because He doesn't want us to spend time preparing our human intervention. You know, preparing our studied and learned discourse. Then dispensing great founts of our own wisdom. And perhaps saying way too much.

Instead, when these crises arise, we throw ourselves on God's mercy and cry out to Him, "Lord, please help me help my friend. I don't know what to say, or do. Please work through me!"

And that feeling of helplessness and inadequacy frequently leads to the best response for your friend in need.
(Assuming you're a Christian who's always listening to God, learning from Him, keeping His Word in your mind and heart, confessing your own brokenness, submitted to whatever He's planned for you to do, and mindful that tomorrow it may well be you who's in need of mercy.)

It's a great feeling to know God placed you near your phone, or on the road, or in your home so that you "just happened" to be there when your friend or neighbor needed you.
We'll never be fully prepared to meet each challenge.
But we can be armed with God's power when we admit our own weakness, and cry out:
"Lord, help me help!"

"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2, Gideon Bible)
 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13, Gideon Bible)

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