shutterstock_488066566Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country… Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help. Judges 6:2,3,6 NIV

I watched a Daniel Tiger episode with my grandson the other day. Daniel struggled with catching a ball and buttoning his coat. The encouraging refrain throughout the show – “keep trying, and you’ll get better”. This is good advice for learning a new skill. However, when do you need to make adjustments to stop trying and change course?

I was asked to help a young man who had a bad starter on his vehicle. I have done a lot of mechanical work and was hopeful that I could help him. After working for 1.5 hours, I gave up trying to access the starter. That’s not like me. But we towed his car to a shop and the work was finished that day…by someone else more qualified.

In this opening story of the life of Israel during the reign of judges, we find the Israelites being oppressed by a neighboring country, the Midianites. Food was taken and crops destroyed. For a season the Israelites made adjustments by living in caves in the mountains. Life was hard and they did what needed  for them to survive…except turn to God for help.

We are incredibly resilient and resourceful. We “know” that we can find an answer to any problem if we are given enough time and resources. Many times God uses the lack of resources and hard times to get our attention. He has answers that can help…He waits to be invited. He waits for us to see the futility of our efforts.

Midian so impoverished…” What life struggle brought you to the place to look to God for answers? You can spend a lifetime trying to navigate trials and temptations without God, but in the end it will come up empty. “What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” What’s it gonna take for you to cry out to God? Complaining to God for the inconvenience of troubles is not crying out to Him. When you look to Him as the only source of an answer, you are entering the ballpark of crying out.

What does crying out for help to God look like in your life right now? Do you pray for others suffering from COVID 19 as if it were your spouse or child? Do you pray for wisdom for your President, government officials, business owners as if you were the one having to make that decision? How are you praying for your pastor and engaging with other believers? Are you barricading in shelters in caves and mountains waiting for racial problems to pass? 

Does your prayer life reflect the time and intensity necessary for one who has no answer unless God helps? While you are waiting for God to give the next steps…posture yourself in repentance, spend much time in prayer, be active in listening and responding to God’s voice, make time to pray with others, and serve as much as possible to those who are needy.

You can find lots of ways to navigate life right now…and never include God. What’s it gonna take for you to cry out to God for help?

Blessings   Love y’all