Need Help? Just Ask
by Martha Nelson
Last summer I was on vacation in Minnesota, and stayed at a hotel which had an outdoor courtyard for breakfast. There was a small basketball court for guests adjacent to the courtyard, and as I enjoyed my coffee and pastries, I noticed a tall older man warming up by bouncing the ball on the court and then shooting a basket. The trees somewhat obscured my view, so I thought he was alone – until a tottering boy of perhaps 18 months appeared – “playing basketball” with Grandpa.
The boy had a pacifier and was a bit unsteady on his feet, but clearly interested in the ball as Grandpa encouraged him to hold it and “throw” it. Then Grandpa scooped the child up in his arms and together they sunk one in the basket. They repeated this trick several times – and it brought tears to my eyes as it was such a picture of the Father’s love: helping us reach the goal we so wanted, but which seemed out of reach.
That Grandpa’s patience in wanting to involve his grandson in the game was a reminder to me that God’s only motive in creating us was love. No other agenda, no need for more kids to “clear the back 40” – even if we would benefit from that or enjoy it. His goal was not a cleared Back 40 but us. Just pure love.
At times any of us can feel inadequate to reach the goal or do the thing we really want to do. We need help. And at those times we can ask God to help us. In the Bible, God says, “When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” (Psalm 91:15). And in Hebrews 13:6, “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.’”
Our asking doesn’t need to be a sophisticated prayer. After all, we are asking Someone who calls Himself our Father. He knows our needs because He made us. So just ask – and then wait to see how He loves to help you.