“Here, let me help you with that!” The words resonate in my heart as I reflect on how always being a help to others, especially my siblings and I, characterized the man my father was! He was generous, warm, and kind; always looking for opportunities to bless others, and he went out of his way to do so. During one of our last conversations shortly before his death, he said, “Well baby, Is there anything I can help you with?” Although physically unable to do many of the things he had once so enjoyed, his heart was intent on serving others. He wanted to help!
I’ll do it myself
As a parent and grandparent now myself, there have been many times that my offerings of help have not been accepted. Whether assisting to complete a task, offering a word of advice, or giving directions, the help I offered was refused; a definitive, “I’ll do it myself!” has been the reply. And just as you might suppose, the struggle of trying things “my way” typically led to a less than the optimal outcome!
Following a trip to holiday in France, Paul Anka wrote the lyrics for what became the signature song for the iconic Frank Sinatra. On December 30th, 1968 Sinatra recorded “My Way”, a song which he said in his later years, he never actually liked and it is no wonder. Despite the songs popularity and long run on the popular music charts, it is somewhat of a sad commentary on life. Phil Edwards, a spokesman for Co-Operative FuneralCare stated this was their most requested track to be played at funerals. Interestingly, he went on to say, “It has a timeless appeal – the words sum up what so many people feel about their lives and how they would like their loved ones to remember them.”
Amid the lyrics of the song are these words:
“Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all when there was doubt, I ate it up, and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall, and did it my way.
For what is a man, what has he got: If not himself, then he has naught,
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels,
The record shows I took the blows, and did it my way.”
What a way to be remembered!
This kind of end-of-life confession is not at all what our Heavenly Father had in mind for us. He too is generous, warm, and kind (gracious) toward us and offers us His guidance, wisdom, and help that we might avoid some of the unpleasant outcomes of life that this song alludes to. Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” (NAS)
A generous and loving Father
Our Father says to us without restraint, “Here, let me help you!” With His Word as our guidebook and prayer as our
opportunity for intimate and personal conversation, our Father longs for a relationship of closeness with each of us, His children. He longs to pour into our lives, to enrich them, bless them, and cause them to have far more meaning and purpose than that of one who would have the song, My Way, personify their life. “If you then, though you are evil, (of a sinful nature) know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13 (NIV)
Our Father desires good things for us and is standing by eager to help us! I can just imagine that at times our Heavenly Father feels much like I have with my own children and my parents have felt with me. While He offers us the benefit of His wisdom, insight, direction, and strength, we insist on doing things ourselves. We can be hard-headed, stubborn, and even foolish. We behave like spoiled toddlers insisting on our own way. He knows that at times our outcomes are
unpleasant, our consequences are tough, our path extremely rocky, and our challenges difficult to navigate. All the while our generous and loving Father was waiting to be acknowledged having offered us His help, a better way, a better plan. John 10:10b says, “I have come that they might have life, and have it more (fully) abundantly.”His desire is for us to have the best life possible.
He bids us to earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces saying, “And yet I will
show you still a more excellent way, one that is better by far and the highest of them all – love.” (AMPC) I Corinthians 12:31. Because He knows what is best for us, we can trust His help! He says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (NIV) That is a life and a promise, He longs to help us achieve! But guess what, we must not say to our Father, “I’ll do it myself!”
Great is Thy faithfulness
While independence and a strong sense of confidence and capability can be considered admirable qualities, apart from Christ, we are nothing. (John 15:5) Beloved daughter, our Father is asking you today, “Well, Is there anything I can help you with?” He longs to offer His outstretched arms of compassion and reassurance. He longs to share a
word of encouragement, wisdom, and direction. He longs to be your resource, your “ever-present help.” Psalm 46:1.
Whether at the close of the day, or the end of this life’s journey may this “Daddy’s girl” sing with the loudest crescendo “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”, rather than I did it “My Way”! May I acknowledge my Father’s gaze and lift my eye’s to meet His, realizing He is where my help comes from. (Psalm 121:1-2)
May this life be a life well-lived in surrender to His purpose and plan, sensitive to His leading and direction, blessed abundantly, and grateful for His help each and every step of the way. May this be reflective of your heart posture and mine, always! If it is, our remembrance will sound like this:
“I pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
“For I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord (my Father) the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all (those who accepted His help) them also that love His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
All because I did it HIS WAY! Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Read also: What trust can do