Help ... God's Way

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

2 Kings 5:10-12 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

Doug had a situation. The river beside his house had flooded and the water was now coming into his home. A neighbor offered to drive Doug to higher ground to escape the flood, but Doug refused. Later, when the house was surrounded with water, the sheriff showed up in a small boat and invited Doug to climb aboard. Once again Doug declined, saying, “I believe God will take care of me. He can do miracles!” When Doug ended up on the roof of his house a National Guard helicopter came and a loudspeaker told him to grab onto a ladder to be taken to safety. Once again Doug refused. Sadly, the flood carried away Doug’s house and he was drowned. The story continues, though. When Doug reached heaven, he asked God, “Why didn’t you rescue me from the flood?” God’s response was, “I sent you a friend in a car, a sheriff in a boat, and the Army in a helicopter and you would not accept the help I offered you.”

Do we need help? There several challenges when we need help. The first challenge is to recognize warning signs. Shipwrecks, train wrecks and car accidents occur when signs are ignored. We have seen people spin themselves into catastrophe because they are oblivious to wise counsel. Some folks don’t look for warning signs in life. They hang on to the notion they can handle their issues on their own so they end up in real trouble. Parents often ignore problematic behaviors in their kids so they never seek input from people that could give good advice. People fail financially despite wise counsel because they refuse to heed warnings. Every church service the Word of God is preached and individuals choose to continue in sin. Are we ignoring the warning signs God sends for our benefit?

The second challenge is admitting that we have a need. It is foolish to assume that we can live a successful Christian life without input from others. A degree of humility is required to admit that you are not strong enough, flexible enough, or smart enough to handle a situation. As we age, there are things that we used to be able to do on our own, but now we need some assistance. Pride will cause us to be stubborn and refuse help. Humility will enable us to ask for help and accept it when it is offered.

The third challenge is the one Doug failed. He refused to accept the way God chose to help him. He wanted something fantastic! Rather than insisting God do something miraculous, he should have accepted what was offered as coming from the hand of God. God can do the supernatural, but He may choose to use something ordinary to help us instead. It may be that He has a different plan for us than what we had anticipated. He sends specific people into our lives to assist us through instruction and acts of kindness. Do we accept the help He sends through our spouse, our children, our neighbors, our friends, our pastors? Or do we spurn advice and reject assistance because it is not the kind of help we wanted? Doug was like Naaman in 2 Kings 5. He knew he had a problem, but he was not happy with the solution God sent. However, Naaman listened to his servant and obeyed the prophet of God. Then God healed him. How many Christians experience avoidable catastrophe because they are not humble, ignore warning signs, and refuse to embrace God’s way?