Help Me God

Help Me God!

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson6 Minutes

From the soccer-mom facing the summer with no sports, to nursing home residents confined to their rooms, no one is left untouched by the waves of this pandemic. As the states begin to slowly open, the extent to which our lives have changed is yet to be seen. Although the changes vary from family to family, everyone’s future is impacted—or altered. The unknown, for most of us, is frightening territory. The cry of “help me God” is going up all over the world.

The confinement to home intensified the hardships some of us were already facing. I spoke with a mother recently who was grieving the loss of her son. Help seems far from her. Grief is a crushing pain under any circumstance, but now, with so many of our support systems down everything is intensified. Church, family gatherings, all the relationships we depend on for help and support in our darkest hours have been stripped away and we are left to our own thoughts.

But God, is not far from us.

Although COVID-19 is new, we need to remember that we are not the first generation to live in perilous times—or in isolation. We can look at the lessons past generations, who lived through war, disease, and radical social changes, have passed on to us.

I often think of Viktor Frankl. During WWII, Frankl was sent to a concentration camp. In spite of his captors’ efforts to reduce him to a tattooed number, he was still a psychiatrist. As such, he was a keen observer of human behavior. He noticed that there were men who came into the camp seemingly healthy and strong who perished. And yet, there were those men who were older, more fragile who survived.

Why? Finding the answer to this question, was key to his own survival. But, not in the way you might think.

Frankl spent his years in the death camp helping and studying his fellow man. He concluded that it was a man’s own mind that determined his fate. If a person has purpose in his life, deep within was the fire that kept their soul fighting for life. He believed that every person brought into this world was gifted with something good and unique that no one else could fill. It could be who they love, a work they felt born to do, or a message they wanted to get out.

When one believes they have a purpose in life, then living for that purpose brings meaning. Even in a world of death and suffering.

In times like these, we are often stripped of what we think our purpose is. The ties that entangle us with day to day life are cut. What is left, is what we hold dearest to us. What cannot be taken away under any circumstances. While we may not be able to attend a church, we can still cry out to God to help us. To show us, our unique contribution to the world.

One of the hardest aspects of loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, or a job, or simply the plans we made, is the loss of what we thought our future would bring. These feel like uncertain times. But are they really?

Certainty in life is an illusion, along with control. These are powers we deeply want, and feel we need, but they don’t really exist. Death, sickness, loss of income, can and often does come without warning. Although it is not uncommon, it looms over us taunting our fears with the unknown.

It’s only in times like this, that we realize that there is so much more to life than what we can control. Frankl was right. There is purpose and meaning in every single life. What you bring to the world is unique and irreplaceable. His purpose kept him alive in a concentration camp, all while giving his life meaning in the darkest pit of despair.

You can cry out to the God who made you in His image, “Help me God, give me the life you created me for. Show me.” He will answer.

It’s in the darkest moments of our lives that the light of truth shines the brightest. Even though you can’t see the future you once thought you had, you can rest in the fact that the God who loves you does.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Order your copy of FreeFall: Holding onto Faith When the Unthinkable Strikes by Rhonda Robinson