Language can be funny, can’t it? We talk about the sunrise and the sunset when, in reality, it’s not the sun that rises or sets but the earth that rotates on its axis, exposing different regions to the sun. Actually, with respect to our solar system, the sun neither rises nor sets, but remains fixed in place. As Christians, we do something similar with language. You’ve probably heard a testimony from someone who was in a crisis situation when “God showed up.” But the truth of the matter is that God didn’t just somehow show up. We know that God is infinite; He is present everywhere at all times. We may say that God showed up, but, actually, He was there all along, and we finally turned our attention to Him. It might seem odd that people who believe in God would turn their attention away from God when they’re in trouble. Most of the time, it’s because we’re trying to figure out how to solve our problems on our own. In our culture, we’ve gotten used to turning to a bank or a doctor or a life-coach when we need help and turning to God for help only when a situation degenerates into a crisis. When we finally look to Him, we proudly announce that God showed up just when we were at our lowest! To be clear, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the resources that are available to us when we need help. My point is simply that we will save ourselves a lot of worry and grief if we turn to God before things get out of hand. When I was young, I gave my father a plaque for Father’s Day that read, “When all else fails, try a prayer.” He accepted it graciously but was quick to point out that the best way to approach life is to seek God before all else fails. Where do you turn when you need help? Remember the promise in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in trouble.” He’s always right here with us!
Otis A. Fortenberry