From the President, East District – God is our Helper!

By: Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

How often in our lives do we leave untapped the great reservoirs God has provided for us? We think we can find the resources we need in our own strength, but we learn, painfully sometimes, that life would be much simpler if we would simply call upon our Lord to direct, lead, and assist us.

Once there was an old man who had no relatives or family but had some friends with whom he lived. He had known these people for many years and they had received him into their home as a result of their Christian kindness. The old gentleman was exceedingly grateful for all the help and love that these dear friends had extended to him. However, it weighed heavily on his heart that he could do so little to return to them the assistance that they had provided to him.

This elderly man was loved by most everyone for his genuine humility, his devotion to duty, and his trusting faith in God. He had one habit, however, which was a bit disturbing. He wanted to be self-sufficient. He did not want to cause any more inconvenience than was absolutely necessary. Where this characteristic especially showed itself was at the dinner table. Someone would ask him, “May I pass you the butter?” or “May I pass you the rolls?” and immediately the old man would say, “No, thank you, I can reach.” Then he would bend over the table and stretch out his arms as best he could to the food he happened to want at the moment. Many times, a minor catastrophe would occur during the procedure. Either a glass of water or a cup of coffee would be spilled—or even worse yet, a bowl containing a salad or a hot dish would be overturned. All of this could have been avoided if he simply would have asked those sitting at the table with him to pass the particular item of food or drink that he wanted.

We perhaps smile or chuckle to ourselves upon hearing the antics of this elderly gentleman, but there is something in his behaviour that can be found in most of us. How many of us have not done the same thing at one time or another? Whether it be for our physical needs or our spiritual needs, God is always near at hand to give us help. He wants to do just that. But we go on our clumsy way, never consulting Him or laying our requests in His hands.

If we would only make known our requests to God, He is not only able but willing to fulfill them. This is especially important when it comes to our soul’s salvation. For, as we read in the third chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we can become “bewitched” into believing that we can procure our own salvation by following the works of the law, by our own doing, rather than remembering that our salvation has already been won for us by Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross.

As you read about the elderly gentleman who desired to be totally self-sufficient, you may have thought to yourself how foolish he was in not accepting someone else’s help in such a small thing as asking for food at the dinner table. How much more so do we do the same thing—and not only when it comes to receiving physical assistance, but also when it comes to resting our soul’s salvation in the redemption our

Lord has won, apart from any works or merit on our part.

May we ever “trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not lean on our own understanding.” For God is indeed our Helper in all things!

Rev. Paul Zabel is president of Lutheran Church–Canada’s East District

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From the President, East District – God is our Helper!

Posted By: canluth
Posted On: August 22, 2018
Posted In: District Presidents, District Presidents, East District News, Headline,

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