Day 3 A Well-Time Help

Hebrews 4:16:, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)

In 2009, Apple debuted its slogan, “There’s an app for that” in TV ads to show off the multitude of apps available for iOS devices through its popular App Store, which opened in July 2008. The “There’s an app for that” slogan became so catchy that it is endlessly parroted by the media. It is understandable why Apple wanted to register a trademark for the phrase. In 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently complied. Now, there are over a million apps in the App Store.

If you need a witty “App For That” meme…there’s An App For That:

“How to avoid dating your cousin?” Iceland has an app for that. #islendingaApp-ses

Do you want to simulate the shaving procedure on your phone? There’s an app for that. It looks absolutely real: the app includes amazing graphics, vibration, and very realistic sound. It has over one million downloads.! #electricshaver

If you don’t know what to say on a date, a meeting, or any other situation, there’s an app for that. It lets your friends or strangers to listen via livestream and assist you. #Crowdpilot

One app that does exactly what it says: nothing. It was downloaded more than a million times. When you launch the app, you see a blank black screen and nothing else. The app has a Pro version for $0.99 and does still nothing. The app has 4.5 stars on Google Play. #nothing

I apologize if my transition is a bit glib but stay with me.

In our verse for the day, Hebrews 4:16, the word “find” is a translation of the often-used Greek word eurisko.  It expresses the idea of a discovery that is made by searching. The grace we need is available but often we don’t see it unless we are looking for it.

I heard a definition for “circumstance” a few years ago that didn’t make sense at first but now it does. The Latin word for circumstance means, “standing around.” The idea is that our circumstances often “stand around” us so close that they block our view of God. All we can see are the difficulties and pain. Sometimes we imagine our circumstances will come to define our lives. If we search for grace, however, and stay with it; it is there, if we have eyes to see.

The idea is that our circumstances often “stand around” us so close that they block our view of God.

The Greek word for help, boḗtheia, is a nautical term. It was used during the shipwreck of Paul’s ship in Acts 27, of the cables that are passed under the hull of the ship to keep it from falling apart. The idea is that the hull is going to fall apart if it doesn’t receive the help of these cables and so it is with us. The word help (boḗtheia) implies we can’t make it on our own.

The phrase I have always been drawn to, however, is: “…in our time of need.” A literal translation of Hebrews 4:16 goes like this: “Therefore let us approach with boldness the throne of grace that we might receive mercy and find grace for a well-timed help.”  I love that. Whatever our circumstances, however desperate or slight, there will be a grace available, proportionate to our need…when we need it. The help doesn’t come early; it is a “well-timed help.”

The help doesn’t come early; it is a “well-timed help.”

Sometimes we may wonder how we would ever survive something like cancer or the death of a child or spouse. We can’t imagine how we would get through it. Hebrews 4:16 assures us there will be a grace; a help that keeps us from falling apart, well-timed and available, when that happens and when we need it most.

When our son, a father of three small children, was in a horrific car accident, suffered brain trauma, placed in an induced coma, and we didn’t know if he would ever be himself again, there was a grace of peace engulfing our hearts when we needed it. (He not only survived, but he also did not suffer any long-term repercussions. Thank you, gracious God.)

I remember when I was a young mother, I wondered how I could ever let my children leave home. (Bringing me back to the app story)…there is a grace for that.

How do we survive the breakup of a marriage? There is a grace for that.

How do we get through financial hardship? There is a grace for that.

How do we navigate an unexpected career change or change in our aging bodies? There is a grace for that.

How do we walk with a loved one who is dying? There is even a grace for dying.

Grace comes, reliably and miraculously, and enters every fear-filled place “in due proportion to the necessity” at just the right time. It is everything you need for that moment. Abundant grace…available to us when we have left all other options behind.

Reflection Questions:

What circumstance in your life threatens to block your view of God?

What will it take for you to discover the grace embedded in your stuggle?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: