By Heidi Goehmann
If you search the internet, you will find a hundred different lists of Bible verses reminding us that God is our help, that He provides and He sustains.
We pray to Him; we run to Him in our trouble and in our joy.
But sometimes we look around us and ask Him, “Where is the help?”
God gives us help in many forms, primarily His Word and His Gifts — forgiveness, the Body of Christ, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper.
He also gives us other resources in this life — food, shelter, clothing, family, friendship, coffee.
It’s easy to either limit His goodness to His provision of these resources or disconnect these resources from His provision entirely.
It’s good for our spiritual health to pray to God, to ask for help, and also to understand that at the end of the day He has promised Jesus and Jesus is enough.
But God also brings us help in our temporal needs.
We can’t and shouldn’t hold God to promises He didn’t make, but we can thank Him and stand in gratitude when He does reveal earthly gifts and help.
We cry with the Psalmist:
“Blessed be the LORD!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Ps. 28:6–7)
What do we do when we can’t seem to find those things we need, though?
What do we do when disconnection, grief or physical needs overwhelm us?
What do we do when we look around and our hearts quake, wishing and praying God would make His provisions for us more evident?
We rest in His Word.
Here are some particularly helpful verses when we look around and cannot see the light in our situation:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:17–18)
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Cor. 1:5)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
We ask for help clearly and directly.
Just as in marriage, the idea of mind-reading can be destructive in other relationships.
While God knows our mind and heart, we are invited to lay it all out before Him.
From a mental health perspective, as well as spiritually, this is for our own good.
Laying what we need out in conversation with God lifts loneliness and gives us a refuge, a place to put our troubles when they feel overwhelming, so they don’t bottleneck in our hearts and minds.
And the people around us really need things laid out for them. Humans will disappoint, because we are sinful, each one of us.
However, when we share what we need out loud, or even say, “I truly have no idea what I need but I am feeling or thinking [fill in the blank],” those around us are able to bring us specific help, rather than simply guessing, or swinging and often missing.1
We go to church.
By church, I don’t mean the church building necessarily, or a worship service, although those are good places to start!
By go to church, I mean go to God’s people.
- Be a part of the Body of Christ, not vaguely or as ships passing in the night, but as one fully engaged in the life of the Body.
- Eat with others in your local body of believers.
- Ask about their lives and families.
- Join a small group Bible study or adult Bible class.
- Join the visitation team or a committee to redo the church nursery.
God created the Body for the Word and the Sacraments, as well as “Life Together.”
When we struggle, when we are lonely, when we are in need, God created the Church to be those who gather around us.2
It’s much easier for people to see and know our needs and to offer help when we are actively in relationship with them day-to-day.
It is a difficult season when we are in need, when we can’t seem to find an answer, when friendships seem far off, and when God seems farther.
But God is faithful. He doesn’t leave us. He doesn’t forsake us. He does and will bring help.
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9)
1 This can be extremely difficult for someone who is battling clinical depression or another serious diagnosis which affects their mental and/or physical health. The Crisis Text Line is one resource that can help us put words to what we need so that others can understand our cries for help. Access the Crisis Text Line by texting the word HOME to 741741 in the United States, or find them at crisistextline.org. This is not a resource of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, nor is it endorsed by the LCMS. If you have theological concerns or questions about any resources, please talk with an LCMS pastor.
2 See 1 Timothy 5
- LCMS.org Church Locator — Select “Locators” in the top right corner of lcms.org to find a church and/or pastor near you.
- Concordia Plans Employee Assistance Program (EAP) — LCMS employees and families can find resources and receive six free visits to a licensed professional. You or your spouse do not need to be covered by Concordia Health Plans to utilize the EAP.
- KFUO Radio — Mental Health Mondays
- Articles by Deaconess Heidi Goehmann — heidigoehmann.com
- Concordia Plans — Wellness Programs
- Church worker wellness resources — lcms.org/worker-wellness