It’s true. We all need God.
I’m not talking about in the sense of salvation. Yes, we need God to save us from our wretched, sinful lives. But after that we still need Him. Perhaps more than we know. It’s not a one and done.
When life gets hard and crashes over you like massive ocean waves – you need God.
When the unexplainable happens to you – you need God.
When you’re suffering beyond what you can stand – you need God.
In those and a thousand other situations we know that we need Him. And, He knows that we need Him, and He encourages us to come to Him in our time of need (Philippians 4:6, Hebrews 4:14-16).
So, we do what the Psalmist did, and what God encourages us to do – we cry out to Him. We express our anxiety, our pain, our angst, hoping that He will come to our aid.
But He doesn’t always come – at least not when we think He should.
What’s with that? Didn’t He tell us to do exactly that and if we did, He would be there for us in our time of need (NIV Hebrews 4:16)? Not in His time – but in our time! When we are suffering the most. When it feels like we’re going down for the third and final time. Not later, Lord. NOW!
That phrase in our time of need has been difficult to understand since it was first penned.
The old Scottish theologian Alexander Maclaren offered this explanation: the right grace will be most surely given to me to help me in time of need, or, as the words may perhaps be more vigorously and correctly translated, find grace for timely aid, grace punctually and precisely at the very nick of time, at the very exact time determined by heaven’s chronometer, not by ours. It will not come as quickly as impatience might think it ought, it will not come so soon as to prevent an agony of prayer, it will not come in time enough for our impatience, for murmuring, for presumptuous desires; but it will come in time to do all that is needed.
The key is to understand the significance of the word need. It is need as seen from the mountaintop, not the valley. It is need seen from God’s perspective, not ours.
God knows the time of your need far better than you.
Peter’s time of need was not while he was on the water but when he was sinking. Lazarus’ time of need was not when he was sick but when he was in the grave. Paul’s time of need was not in the moment of his suffering but in the experience of never-ending grace.
God will meet us in our time of need which He alone knows.
So, faith hangs onto that truth even as we cry out with the Psalmist My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear (Psalm 22:1).
Stay in the Word