You’ve Got Us; Who’s Got YOU?

For those who feel the burden of responsibility on your shoulders, who work so hard to love well and take care of those around you, who sacrifice and pour yourself out for others: where does *your* help come from?

Or, to paraphrase Lois Lane’s worthwhile question: you’re holding us; who’s holding you?

Anyone who’s flown has heard the flight attendant’s instruction to “put on your own oxygen mask before helping those near you.” And I was thinking about that this morning. When things get rough; when you’re in a position to help others, and you want to help them, and you feel responsible for them, but you’re struggling to breathe yourself… what’s your on-the-gound oxygen mask?

We all have things we turn to for comfort, relief, escape, hope. Sleep, other people, food, alcohol, TV, games, social media, even just pushing through to try to get it all done. But none of those things can really give us what we need. None can give us strength beyond our own, endurance through the worst of circumstances, peace underneath the chaos, a sure hope that things WILL be better, WILL be right at some point. Only God can do that. 

And we must each put on our own oxygen mask – be responsible to make sure WE have help – before we pass out while trying to help others, and end up helping no one.

Here’s how: pay attention to your thoughts, and correct them where needed. Bring them in line with Truth revealed in Scripture. Do what the Psalmists did. Acknowledge your troubles, your problems, your responsibilities, your cares, your feelings TO GOD. And remind yourself of, and thank Him for, all the truth you know about Him. He is good. He cares for you. He holds you. He has said He will work everything for your good if you are His, and He cannot lie. His word endures forever, it cannot be broken. He is trustworthy. And He has promised to give you everything you need – not to be comfortable, or to be happy all the time, but to live rightly and to love and serve Him and others. To live faithfully. To stand firm til the end, on solid ground, even while the storms rage.

This is our responsibility. Looking to Him, trusting in Him, living in a way that’s faithful to Him. And His Spirit in us is how we are able to do that; He helps us even with “our responsibility.” We can’t take care of everyone or everything. We can’t control the choices of others. We can’t always make things the way we want them to be. But we can always trust God, who sees the whole picture; God, who loves our loved ones more than we do; God, who is at work in all of us to make us more like Jesus. We can rest in His care. We can breathe because He provides all we need, by His grace, through faith in Jesus. 

He’s your oxygen mask. He’s holding you. He’s your help. 

Rest in that, rest in Him, responsible one, even while you work to do what you can for others. It doesn’t all depend on you.

Some Scriptures worth meditating on:

“He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” 
~Acts 17:25b

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
~Psalm 121:1-2

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. …
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
1 Peter 5:6-7, 10

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. … And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:11b-13, 19

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

“My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you…
By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

“I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.”
~Psalm 42:5-6a, 8, 11

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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