A present help in time of trouble
Published 2:29 pm Thursday, July 7, 2022
I have certainly missed writing the Solution Column these past few weeks. I have been finishing a second master’s degree at Austin-Peay State University. Thankfully, I completed the program and will graduate in August. I appreciate the Lord giving me the opportunity and providing me with the assistance I needed. I love all the areas I am involved in in our community. I know I could not accomplish anything without the very present help of the Lord and the support of individuals He placed in my life. Psalm 46:1-2 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”
God works in many ways, but throughout the Bible, God used individuals as his hands and feet. We are His body! He placed individuals in my life that have held up my hands when I didn’t have the strength on my own. I can see how my Heavenly Father used these individuals to make me a better version of myself!
Support systems are of utmost important, and I have been blessed with a wife and son who support all my ventures. They sacrifice so I can invest in the lives of others, and they push me to do my best. I have phenomenal colleagues on my job, an amazing church family, and loyal friends that have believed in me and cheered me on during busy times. God has used all these individuals as present helps in my life.
While on vacation this year, my wife, son, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I enjoyed the cool ocean water on an extremely hot day. One second, the water was around our waist. Just a moment later, we were in water over our heads. We had been swept out by a strong rip current. I could see the panic in my sister-in-law’s eyes. As the farthest one out, she immediately thought she could drown.
I gave my boogie board to her husband, and he went out to get her. As he swam towards her, my son, my wife, and I tried to swim toward the shore to get help. I swam as hard as I could, but it was like swimming on a treadmill. I was not making any progress. I was exhausted and didn’t know how much longer I could last. I wanted to help everyone, but in that moment, I could not even help myself. Fear and hopelessness took over, and I thought that I may drown. My son made it back to the shore thankfully, but the rest of us were still struggling. He went to get the lifeguard.
I told my wife that I didn’t think I could keep swimming. At that moment, my wife shoved me into a sudden wave. It carried me for a moment, and I felt the first bit of sand under my feet. I dug in and pulled myself into more shallow water. Thankfully, my wife was able to do the same. My brother-in-law made it to his wife just in time with the board, but they still needed assistance to make it back to shore. The lifeguard made it into the water, but he struggled against the current. Another lifeguard came out to assist the first lifeguard. They were able to bring them to shore.
We were almost in shock afterwards as we thought on what just happened. When you are in waist deep water, you do not think that in the next moment you will be fighting for your life. It all happened so quickly. What an analogy for life! One moment all is well and everyone is laughing and having a great time, and suddenly you’re swept off your feet and everything changes for the worse. It is at that moment that God is a present help, and that He uses those around us as lifesavers.
Throughout my life, I have found myself in situations where I had to rely on God and others. I could not make it on my own. I realize that this is all by God’s design. Without him, we can do nothing! It is in our moment of weakness that His strength is made perfect. God has also placed a support team around me, and without them, I would have not been able to accomplish much on my own. I challenge you to thank those around you who have helped to shape and support you, and thank God for being a very present help in time of trouble.
(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton)