Generally for most people, myself included, help is not sought until we feel we can no longer help ourselves. We go to the doctor when we’ve exhausted home remedies and we seek prayer and counsel when we have, in futility, tried to fix our own problems.
The same is most often true for people turning to God for help (not the main point of Luke 15.11-32, but true there too).
When life seems hopeless, hope is sought. Is this right?
One mental health professional told me that most of their patients only come to them when they have hit ‘rock bottom’.
Is this right? Should we wait until we are as low as we can go before we reach out for help?
After putting Jesus in His rightful place Paul now turns his focus to the Ephesians themselves:
“And although you were dead in your offences and sins, in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the domain of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energising the sons of disobedience, among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest…”
(Ephesians 2.1-3, NET)
They had, it seems, hit rock bottom. They were dead in [their] offences and sins. They were, like all around them, living according to this world’s present path. As we all once did, the Ephesians lived in the cravings of [their] flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind. This, Paul says, made them children of wrath.
Even though they – and we – might be at their lowest point, even though they were at rock bottom in terms of the trajectory their lives were taking, there is always hope. At God’s throne there is always mercy and grace and help in times of need (Hebrews 4.16).
The good news for regular people like the Ephesians and you and me is that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus this help, this mercy, and this grace is always available. There are no special days, times, or seasons in which to find help, and there is no need to hit rock bottom before reaching for help.
Tomorrow, we’ll detail the help available, but for today take the truth that it’s there for you. Take it.