Calling Out for Help
“Since ancient times no-one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”
Last year while hiking near Sacramento in the USA, Mike Vilhauer got lost. He wandered off the path and suddenly realised he couldn’t find his way back. As the sun sank, Mike crawled under some shelter, and over the next five days, he weathered storms, battled hunger and even fought off an angry wolverine! But as he grew weaker, he started to think he’d never be rescued.
Have you ever felt this way? As if you’re hopelessly lost? We all go through trying times. And when I start to feel this way, I open up my Bible and turn to the Psalms. If anyone knows what it feels like to be lost, overwhelmed and abandoned, it’s King David. See how he writes about it in Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest… Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me” (Psalm 22:1-2, 16).
What David was feeling here is sometimes called “the Dark Night of the Soul,” a term coined by the 16th-century Catholic mystic, Saint John of the Cross. Now widely recognised among scholars world wide, this term has even been picked up by Hollywood screenwriters. It’s that point in the movie where the hero feels as if there’s no hope left. But that’s not where this biblical story ends. Listen to how David finishes his Psalm: “For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help” (Psalm 22:24).
I love that last verse about crying out for help. It’s a truth we should never forget. Mike Vilhauer sure didn’t. Instead, he made an 8-foot sign that read “HELP.” Searchers saw it and were able to save his life. The next time we’re feeling deserted, overwhelmed or alone; remember that our Triune God is faithful to hear us when we call on him. He will never abandon us or forsake us. And that’s a promise we can count on.
Gracious Father, so often in life we go through that Valley of the Shadow of Death, or the Dark Night of the Soul. We know that you are faithful to rescue us—have already rescued us, but in the heat of the moment that can be so difficult to remember. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.