The Best Response …  A Simple But Profound Plea: ‘Lord, Help Me’ 


By Greg Grotewold 


I’m nothing if not predictable. Though typically viewed as a helpful trait, in certain scenarios it becomes less than useful. We recently had one of those less-than-useful scenarios present itself. A problem with our basement’s foundation was identified and the cost to fix is high. Like most, I am averse to spending large sums of money; unlike most, my aversion borders on abhorrence. I loathe it. 

When I first learned of the issue and its corresponding price tag, my response was classic Greg. I dug in and exhibited nothing but intractability. The guy from the restoration company was nothing but a hack and just trying to pull one over on us. I wasn’t about to go along with this farce. Even if some of the repair was legitimate, there is a big difference between a need and a want. Failure to distinguish between the two would significantly and unnecessarily impact my cash flow projections. Why the mess wasn’t identified and dealt with prior to us closing on the house only added to my frustration.     

This was my mental state as I prepared to sit under my pastor’s preaching the following Sunday. And as is typically the case, Jesus had something for me. The text used was 1 Peter 5: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (5-7, ESV). 

As the sermon unfolded, something was beginning to dawn on me. While I’ve long known that fear drives my visceral reactions, what I hadn’t considered is what drives the fear itself. I’ve always assumed it’s an inevitable outcome of my intense personality. The verse above suggests otherwise and introduces a spiritual explanation as to why I respond to misfortune the way I do; it’s called pride. 

The revelation was a surprising one. I don’t see myself as haughty, especially in the context of solving financial challenges. I’m not going around telling everyone how great I am at addressing money issues. Quite the contrary. I become reticent (after the initial outburst) and handcuffed with doubt. My thoughts consumed with indecisiveness, I scurry about grasping for a solution. Even my intractability – what some interpret as confidence – is nothing more than a façade and an outward manifestation of an inward insecurity. These are not the signs of an overly proud individual. 

Or are they? “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” (Psalm 10:4, NIV). Viewed in light of this particular verse, my pride – however inconspicuous the signs may be – becomes apparent. It contains one of the key themes that marks all self-exaltation: a misappropriation of available resources induced by the belief that the best option for the task at hand is always oneself. That’s certainly me. I fly right past Jesus – and all others for that matter – becoming totally oblivious to His presence in my life. I leave Him no room to operate. 

This is no benign act. In fact, it’s quite audacious. I am basically supplanting Jesus’ authority with my own. And the result is not without consequence. Going back to 1 Peter, God opposes those who want to play Him. The Lord will not bless my efforts; He will frustrate them. 

For the redeemed, this opposition is not punishment, though. Yes, Jesus wants to reclaim what is rightly His, but I’m learning that there’s an additional purpose behind His methods. It comes in the form of the fear itself. Such angst is a result of my self-reliance but also the means by which I turn from the sin. Refusing to leave me mired in my own worry, He will actually allow it to grow and fester if that’s what’s required to get my attention. Jesus is trying to show me the futility of relying upon anyone but Him. It’s a gracious admonishment from a God who wants me to surrender so I gain access to the incomparable joy He provides.   

The prudent reaction to any concern in life must start with one simple but profound plea: “Lord, help me.” If earnestly offered up, He will provide a type of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). 

May we humble ourselves and make room for the Lord’s mighty hand. 


Greg Grotewold lives in Oakdale, Minn. with his wife, Sandi, and their two sons, Luke and Eli. He is a deacon in his local church and greatly enjoys serving in this capacity. 

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