Tuesday, September 04, 2007

HELP!

In the midst of grief there is something else. I can only describe as help. Psalm 121:1-2 "I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Help comes to make practical decisions. Help comes to face difficult truths. Help comes to hang up a garment of your loved one, now ten times more valuable, returned from the cleaners. Help comes to look at a picture that reminds you of just how much you've lost. Help comes when you walk into Target and are flooded with a memory. Help comes when a horrible fear climbs on you at sunset. Help comes when you reach for the phone to call her and share a joyful or funny story, only to remember. Help comes when the tear damn breaks, again. Help comes.

Where does the help come from? David was right, it comes from the Lord. Psalm 121 is a song pilgrims sang as they went to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. As they made their way up the hill to the city, filled with expectation, they would sing. Called a song of ascent, it was the act of worship before you arrived at the place of worship. It was a reminder of the price of worship, ascending upward when you may not feel like it. I am struck by the reality that in order to ascend you must first descend through the Kidron valley. It is a song fitting for those who grieve.

The Lord helps. When you read the eight verses of this song you will agree that the Lord watches over you also. He shades you with His right hand. "The sun will not harm you by day or the moon by night." The Lord is faithful to help. Make no mistake, His help comes in the midst of pain, sorrow, suffering, loss, grief, and danger. The Lord is there in the crowd of problems, hurt emotions and anger, standing out in the midst of these things, bringing His help. He does not remove
these painful realities but He does not seem intimidated by them either. We wish He would just zap them but He does something better, He comes to us when they arrive. The look on His face tells me that He has a plan. "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." It took quite a plan to make heaven and earth, I can rest assured He has a plan for me.

When precious hurting people ask to help me in practical ways, I cannot fully describe to you what it does to me. It comforts me. Their love warms me and reminds me of the love of Jesus in the flesh. Many have expressed what I have often felt in comforting another. I felt like I needed to show my love and concern in some practical way. I would say: "I am praying for you but I want to do something more!" Regardless of the cost, I want to help my hurting friend. I have come to depend on such help and I see it joyfully as the hands of God moving through His body, the church.

Friend, thank you for your love but I want you to listen to me, You can not do more than pray! Pray as the Spirit of God prompts you in the night. Pray for God to move. Pray for the Lord to be my help and the help of my family. Where you not praying, I cannot imagine what I would do.

My help comes from the Lord!
Ed

7 comments:

Teresa Graham said...

Psalm 121 is what I (Teresa) was reading the night I asked Jesus into my heart. I desperaly needed help and that Word grasped my very soul; it still does.

God does provide help in ways that are, at times, beyond description. His promises are true and infuse us the hope we often need to make it through the next few moments when grief overtakes us like a tidal wave or blows through our spirit like a scirocco wind.

His help never fails, He never sleeps, He shields us. To those of us who have experienced this kind of help, we are overwhelmed at the comfort it provides, the relief that it brings to our panic, fear and sorrow.

Thank you, Pastor, for your example of one in grief ministering to those grieving with him.

We love you,
Teresa and Billy Graham

Anonymous said...

What would we do without HIS help? It is with great sadness that I mourn the loss of my dear friend "Tammy Girl". I miss her so...she was such an example to me in so many ways, as a wife, a mother and a teacher. I am so thankful that God blessed me with her friendship. I am thankful for her precious family who in the midst of their pain have ministered to all of us. She would be so proud....I praise him in the midst of my sadness and look forward to seeing her again in that glorius place, Heaven!!! I love you, Litton Family
Jan

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed,
The Spirit of the Lord is prompting, and we are praying for you and your family.
We love you,
Ben and Jenny Cook

Jim Drake said...

Ed:

Diane and I were saddened to learn of your loss. We only met Tammy once with you, but in those short hours we laughed and talked of the deep things of ministry.

We'll never forget her understanding of children and how she made ours feel so welcome in her presence (the joy we had in sharing French Fries and Ice Cream at the Steak and Shake).

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time. Please be encouraged that there are those who are ready to be your strength in these days.

In Him

Jim and Diane Drake
FBC Snyder

Jack said...

It is amazing to me how death brings life. It is true only in the economy of God. Tammy's life and even death has served to inspire so many, myself included. But I must say that the Jesus in you has inspired me as well. You can count on my prayers for you and your family.

Patricia said...

Nothing has changed through the years... you can always count on my prayers... yesterday, today and all my days.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Litton, it is so funny that I just read this blog, as about 2 hours earlier in the middle of reading a book, a strong prompting came over me instructing me to pray for you and your family, that His ministering spirts would lift you up, protect you and your precious family.
Please know you and your dear family are being prayed for, and how sweetly encouraging it is, that our Help truly does come from the Lord.
Love in Christ,
Heather Nelson
J&J employee