By Alex Florez
As I type this, my mother is dying. The immediate facts would indicate that she is about to succumb to a three-year battle with bladder cancer. However, some of the finer details of her life would reveal that while cancer may serve as the executioner, there is more to the story.
Perhaps someday I’ll recount the full story in my memoirs, but for the present moment, I can tell you what I believe to be the chief contributor to my mom’s demise: when it mattered most, she refused to ask for help. This has been evident in small matters as well as more serious ones. She likes to attribute what she calls “stubbornness” to her Italian-American heritage, but I’ve known defiant self-sufficient people from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. This is not a tendency peculiar to my mother, and it is not limited to any specific group of people. This is a human issue.
My mother is like so many people of the past, present, and, sadly, the future, who refuse to acknowledge their need for help from God. “If there even is a God,” folks like my mom might argue, “there’s nothing He can do for me; I’ll take care of my own life, thank you very much.”
It’s no wonder we have this creeping sense within us that we should be able to manage our lives on our own. I confess that in the quiet of my own heart and mind, there is a voice that says, “You got this, Alex; just keep doing you, buddy.” That is to say: I may have believed in my heart and confess with my lips that Jesus is Lord, but on an average day, I often default to the position that I am in command of my little universe.
Meanwhile, the Bible teaches that it delights God’s heart when His children come running into His arms. Our God does not stand aloof as we muddle through life; He does not stand on high, unmoved by the often cruel world where we lead complicated and confusing lives. Rather, our God is deeply committed to setting us free. He is determined to answer those who are willing to cry out, “Lord, please help.”
Let us consider God’s response to His people in Exodus as a reminder that He sees us and hears us; let us cling to the faith that our God is near, prepared to rescue us from our crumbling kingdoms, from sin, and, indeed, from the clutches of death itself. Let us be assured that the story of the Israelites’ emancipation was not only a singular moment in history that we honor from a distance. Instead, as an affirmation that God is the same today as He was almost 3,500 years ago, let us be the kind of people who cry out for help, confident that our heavenly Father will indeed respond.