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First Source of Help

Bible Reading: Psalm 20:6-7; 121:1-4


"Dad! Look over there!" Bianca exclaimed as their canoe reached a rough stretch of water. Up ahead, an overturned kayak drifted downstream, and a teenage girl desperately clung to a tree that had fallen partially across the river.


"Hang on! We'll help you!" Dad called as they approached. He turned to his daughter. "Bianca, if we get too close to her, she might panic and grab our canoe. Let's maneuver around and get downstream from her." With rapid strokes, they moved to a place just beyond the stranded girl. "Let go of the tree limb now," Dad called. "Let the river take you downstream! We'll pick you up."


"I can't," the girl cried. "The current will pull me under."

"Your life jacket will keep your head above water," Dad assured her. It took a little time, but he finally persuaded her to release her hold from the tree, and she floated downstream to them.


At dinner that evening, Bianca couldn't stop talking about what had happened. "I'm glad that girl is okay. She must have been so scared when her kayak tipped over and she was all alone. She was hanging on to that tree like her life depended on it. But she had to let go and trust her life jacket to carry her to us."


"Yes," said Dad. "The tree couldn't get her to safety, but the life jacket could. She was relying on the wrong thing for help, wasn't she?" He paused. "I do that myself sometimes."


Bianca looked at her dad in surprise. "I'm not sure what you mean."

"When things go wrong, I sometimes rely on my own ability to take care of a situation," Dad explained.


"I do too," said Mom. "Sometimes I think that if I can just work hard enough, I can handle anything bad that happens."


"But we're fooling ourselves when we think that way," said Dad. "We don't have control over what happens--only God does. He should be our first source of help, not our last. Jesus wants us to bring our troubles to Him and trust Him to help us through them."


"Jesus is like our life jacket," observed Bianca. "Instead of clinging to things that won't help us, we need to trust Him to carry us through." 


How About You?

Is Jesus the one you turn to when you have a problem? Or do you first try everything else you can think of? 


Do you depend on hard work, athletic ability, or intelligence? Do you go to your parents, a teacher, or a friend for help? 


God often uses people to help us, but He is the one you need to depend on. Call on Him and trust Him to bring you the help you need.


Today's Key Verse:

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 

(Psalm 121:2)


Today's Key Thought:

Turn to God first