Praise the LORD! For He has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
- Psalm 28:6-7
(New Living Translation)
Have you ever needed a little help to get by? Maybe it was when you were young and just starting out on your own. Maybe it was when your career hit a snag in the road, and you found yourself suddenly unemployed. Maybe it was when a loved one passed away and you needed the help of friends and family just to make it through that time. Sometimes we help others by an encouraging call or letter telling them how special they are to us. Sometimes we help others by providing a bag of groceries or a hot meal. Sometimes we help others by being that listening ear and offering a prayer in their loneliest and darkest time.
From time to time, we see people who need a little help, and when we take time to help them, they burst into tears with joy that we have taken time to listen to them and meet them at the point of their need. And from time to time, we may be the ones in need. Have you ever heard the phrase, "What goes around comes around"? We take time to help others because at some point in our lives someone has taken the time to help us. When our need is met - whatever that need may have been - we can exclaim that our heart is filled with joy! And when we are able to ease the suffering of others in some way, our heart is also filled with joy!
I believe that God's heart is filled with joy when we come to God for help. We read stories of Jesus healing sick people, and we wonder if that's what filled His heart with joy. God waits for us to come to the point of the Psalmist, the point where we cry out for God's help and mercy, and then the answer comes quickly as our hearts are filled with joy that God has heard our cry.
What do you need today? Will you cry out to God from the deepest point of your need?
The Rev. Jan McCoy is the Associate Pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.