Helpless

My daughter, Lindsey, is pretty independent. At three and a half, she’s already been able to make her own PB&J sandwiches for months now. She likes to do things on her own, thank you, or at least give it a good, hard try before admitting she needs help.

I love this about her. She’s so very competent, and she can accomplish far more than she would otherwise be able to because of her can-do attitude.

I remember one time, though, when she was about three and a half months old. I heard her crying and went to see what was the matter. Her bice—our term for “pacifier”—had fallen out of her mouth, and she couldn’t figure out how to get it back in. It was obvious that she was trying to reach it, but she couldn’t. She simply didn’t possess the physical skill.

Oh, she possessed the desire, all right. She knew what she wanted and was doing everything in her little baby power to get it. It’s just that her little baby power didn’t amount to enough. She was helpless to accomplish her desire. So she lay there crying, unable to satisfy herself, dependent on someone else to come help her.

In the same way, we need help from God. We, too, are unable to satisfy ourselves. We can try with all our might to reach our goal, but we can’t fulfill our own needs. We may enjoy considerable success in this life and be able to purchase all or most of what we want. But ultimately, we still can’t satisfy ourselves at our deepest level without help.

That’s why God sent Jesus to earth. He knew we needed help. Beginning with Adam and Eve, and continuing with everyone since, the human race had messed ourselves up so badly that we became completely disconnected from ultimate fulfillment, which comes only through relationship with God. Because of our sin, we had cut ourselves off from God, and we were and are completely unable to get back to Him through our own efforts.

We were stumbling around trying to help ourselves and failing, and God would have been completely just in leaving us that way. But He didn’t. In His grace and mercy, He sent His Son Jesus to earth, to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, and die an undeserved death, taking our punishment upon Himself. And as if removing the punishment of hell weren’t enough, He also offered us complete fulfillment again through a renewed relationship with Him.

We are still helpless to satisfy ourselves. But God Almighty has offered to satisfy us. He saw us floundering and knew we’d never improve our condition on our own, no matter how hard we tried. So He made a way for us to come back and find that perfect fulfillment that we were made to long for, which can be found only in Him.

Just as I saw Lindsey lying helpless in her crib, God looked down from eternity and saw you and me helpless in time, and He came down Himself to help us.

God Himself left His throne to come down and help you. To help me. To help all who will accept the necessity of His Son’s sacrifice on their behalf and acknowledge His lordship in their lives.

Why? For His glory. But also for the same reason I helped Lindsey: love.

I put her pacifier back in her mouth because I loved her and wanted her to have peace.

Jesus came to earth and lived and died for you and me because He wanted us to have peace.

In our helplessness, He gave us the help we needed. And He didn’t just do it once. He continues to do it today and every day.

What incredible love and compassion.

Isaiah 9:2—The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Matthew 9:36—When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

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