I long to be a patient father who always shows kindness towards his children and responds to every inquisition with grace and long-suffering. The Spirit is helping me, but at times my flesh responds to onslaughts of random questions with noticeable frustration. Sometimes my children ask for help at the most inconvenient times and my response is less than godly.
I know God is not like that. He is a good Father who longs for his children to come to him and make their requests known. However, while I know that in theory, there are times deep down inside where I wonder if God is fed up with me coming to him AGAIN and asking for help. I project my weaknesses as a father onto my Heavenly Father and then cower down in fear instead of running to him for help. Surely he’s tired of me asking. Surely he’s sick of me confessing my failures again. Maybe he just wants me to leave him alone and do it myself.
However, the testimony of Scripture is that our Lord wants us to come to him (Matt. 11:28, Hebrews 4:16). He doesn’t just want us to ask, but KEEP asking (Luke 11:5-13) and thankfully he never grows impatient or tired of his children coming to him for help.
The struggle is accepting these truths at a deeper level than mere intellectual assent. I want such good news lodged into my heart and mind so that when fears and doubts assail, I can boldly go to the throne of our Lord without hesitation. Two illustrations have been helpful for me to internalize the good news that my Heavenly Father never grows tired of me coming to him.
Help Is Never Far Away
In the Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, is heading to the Celestial City. Along the way are many trials and temptations that seek to get him off track. On one occasion, he falls into the swamp of despondency. The weight on his shoulders pushes him deeper into the mud, which really isn’t mud but fears, doubts, and discouragement. The harder Christian tries to get out, the more he sinks. Just before his head is completely submerged in the swamp, he shouts out his final plea, “HELP!”
At this request, the King sends Help who pulls Christian out of the pit of despair. Help warns Christian that the journey ahead is difficult but “help, in some form or another, is never far away.”
A Compassionate Doctor
The second illustration comes from Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. Rather than growing tired of our pleas for help, Ortlund reminds us that God finds joy in helping his children. He is like a compassionate doctor who travels to a primitive tribe overwhelmed with a deadly disease. The doctor doesn’t get annoyed when the sick see him for help, for that is the very reason he traveled so far! Instead, it fills the doctor with joy.
Likewise, Christ came to earth to provide forgiveness for sin and reverse the effects of the curse. As we go to him for help, we are doing the very thing that he desires of us; rather than getting frustrated, he finds joy! Ortlund states, “[Christ] does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That’s the whole point. It’s what he came to heal” (36-37).
However, we sometimes think he’s growing weary of us so we refuse to flee to him and reject the very healing he came to provide.
Ask For Help
Let us be reminded that our Lord desires for us to come to him in need, aware of our weakness, and broken. He does not grow tired of hearing cries of help nor get fed up with us asking for forgiveness. His glory is on display as he provides help, healing, and forgiveness to his children. We have great hope knowing that no matter how difficult life gets, help is never far away.