A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. (Luke 15:17-20)
How good are you at asking for help? For those of you who are regular readers of ‘Thought for the Day’ you will not be expecting me to be writing this, as my usual day for writing is Tuesday. But on Wednesday while I was out at a garden centre David called me and asked if I wouldn’t mind doing today’s thought as he and Helen were away without their computers and so they needed my help. I was happy to help out.
The trip to the garden centre had arisen due to both my parents and I running out of bird seed. We both enjoy feeding the birds in our gardens and we had both run out. As I was going to the garden centre I asked my parents if there was anything else that they needed while I was there. It started with just a few new large pots but then there was the compost needed for the pots, some gravel (4 bags!) needed to go underneath where the pots were to stand, some plant food and of course some seeds, as sowing time is almost here. I decided I had too much to put on one trolley so I did the shopping in two halves. Usually at the garden centre there are helpful young people there who will take things to your car and put them in the boot for you, but due to the restrictions of Covid you have to do all the packing yourself. By the time I had got everything in the car I was rather tired and the idea of taking it all out again when I got to my parents on my own was something I was not looking forward to. I sat in my car and the phrase ‘when he came to his senses’ from the story of the prodigal son came to mind and I thought to myself, I need help.
I picked up my mobile phone, I called my younger brother who lives round the corner from my parents and asked him for his help. He was happy to come round, taking a brief break from his work, and unload my car for me, much to my relief.
There are many times in our Christian lives when we need help, however sometimes we are not good at asking. Sometimes we feel as if we should be able to do everything on our own, that somehow, we are failing if we need help. When we do ask then we often find that people are only too happy to help us. Help might come in many different forms; answers to prayers, words from scripture, books read, sermons listened to, conversations had and practical help are just some examples of ways in which we can be helped. Many of us are more than happy to help if someone asks us, but we are not good at asking for help when we need it. As a church family we must not be afraid to ask for help, for in doing so it allows others to help us.
Loving Heavenly Father, you are always ready to hear us when we cry out to you. Help us to help each other, to ask for help and to give help whenever it is needed.
Song: I lift my eyes up