You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.
Several weeks ago a young girl from our community decided to give up on prayer. Her parents were getting a divorce, and God, she concluded, wasn’t listening. What’s the point of praying if God won’t even answer, right?
Where is God?
I can’t you how much my heart aches for that little girl. I’ve prayed for her many times over the last few weeks. And yet it got me thinking…I bet the Israelites probably felt like that little girl did. They’d been stuck in slavery for years. They’d cried to God for help and Pharaoh only cracked down harder. God was silent. At least that’s how it seemed.
I’m guessing that’s also how the Jewish people felt during the time Jesus was born. They’d been stuck under the oppression of foreign government off and on for five hundred years. They kept waiting for this promised Messiah. And nothing. God, if he was even around, was taking an awfully long time. Where was God when you needed him?
Honestly there have been times when I’ve felt the same way. Kind of like this:
or like this
Absolutely stuck. In over my head. I can’t figure how things will work out. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do. Except pray. And then I pray and pray and God doesn’t seem to answer.
Have you been there?
One of the things that gives me so much hope is thinking about the two Bible situations above. We know now that in both situations, God was working behind the scenes. Baby Moses had been born and now forty years later God was calling him from the burning bush. Baby Jesus had been born and now thirty years later he’d been baptized and his ministry was about to begin. Things were going to change!
Jesus Christ is our deliverer. He frees us from the power of sin, and he can also tease apart the knots in whatever difficulty we’re in. He promises to answer and work all things for good.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him.” Psalm 91:14-15
If your kids find themselves in an “I’m feeling stuck” situation and need encouragement, here’s a way to encourage them.
- Tie the shoelaces of a shoe in a tight knot.
- Have your child try to untangle the tight knot.
- Sometimes they may need help e.g. with a knot, with homework, with anything that’s too hard. So they say, “Mom, can you help me?”
- Explain that’s sometimes we can feel stuck. Like we’re in a hard situation and we don’t know what to do. When that happens, we can ask for help and pray. Even if it doesn’t seem like God is working, he is. It may take time. It may not look like we want it to look. But one thing we can know for sure–God is love and he is good. He will answer, just as YOU will answer when your child asks for help.
Week 2 in the 2018 Family Easter Reading Plan
(All the stories and readings are available when you sign up for the free Family reading plan on the home page.)
As promised, here’s a way you can stitch together this Old Testament story with the New Testament story leading up to Jesus’s death and resurrection. All based on the Free Easter reading plan.
God calls a deliverer named Moses: The burning bush. Read Acts 7:30-34
The people of Egypt were stuck as slaves in Egypt. They cried to God for help. One day God called to Moses from a burning bush. God said, “Go, Moses. Tell Pharaoh to set my people free. I’ll rescue them from being slaves in Egypt.” The rescue was about to begin!
God send a deliverer, Jesus: The Spirit like a dove. Read Mark 1:9-15.
God’s people were stuck in sin. They needed someone to save them from sin and all the trouble it had brought. God sent his only Son Jesus. On the day Jesus was baptized, God’s Spirit like a dove came on him. From that day on, their deliverance was about to begin!