I was at the market when the self-checkout kiosk went into a stall and proceeded to tell me, “Help is on the way”.
I had to laugh. Because that’s much nicer for the machine to say than, “You’re gonna be stuck here until the checker that has to monitor a dozen different stations notices that there’s a problem.”
And, true to form, help WASN’T on the way. Not until I flagged somebody down.
Still, it reminded me of TobyMac’s 2021 release: Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight).
In an interview he said it was the “first song of hope” he’s written since the tragic and untimely death of his son Truett in October 2019.
“I was walking through that valley and kind of went downstairs one morning and turned to Psalms,” TobyMac said. “I read this scripture that said, ‘God is rolling up his sleeves,’ and I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen that in the Bible.’”
Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right. God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do. He remembered to love us, a bonus to his dear family, Israel—indefatigable love. The whole earth comes to attention. Look—God’s work of salvation!
Psalm 98:1-3 MSG
He went on to say, “And I immediately put the pen to paper right after I read the verse and I wrote this chorus and it just said, ‘Maybe midnight or mid-day, He’s never early, never late. He’s going to stand by what He claims. I’ve lived enough life to say: Help Is On The Way.’”
It’s a fun song with a good message. And to top it off, we even BELIEVE that message.
But what happens when you’re stuck in the middle and God hasn’t shown up yet? When he doesn’t seem to be on the way. When it feels like he’s already kicked off his shoes and put up his feet for the night? That’s the frustration the descendants of Korah were dealing with when they wrote Psalm 42:
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?”
Psalm 42:1-3 NLT
We understand the picture. A deer is out in the middle of nowhere with no water, trying to escape from predators. Parched and thirsty in a dried-up land.
That’s how the writers picture themselves. Except their thirst is not for water, it’s for the presence of God. They NEED God.
People like this are rare.
It isn’t impossible to find someone like that. Simply improbable. Most folks are thirsty for entertainment or rest. Or work, family, hobbies—you name it.
Anything but the Lord. Worshiping the Lord, gathering with believers in His name, praying, singing—ANYTHING but the Lord.
At least that’s how things appear all around us, right?
Church attendance is shrinking—once a month is now considered average. Giving is down, engagement is down. Even basic respect for things of God is disappearing. Both in and out of the church.
In fact, it seems like everything that is both Christian and biblical is shrinking. Which is why it starts to feel almost like God isn’t involved anymore. That he went to get milk and skipped town. And that he’s really not all that concerned about what happens in the world nowadays.
But that’s just wrong thinking.
God IS living. God IS concerned. And we need to hope in him. We need to wait for him to act on our behalf FOR us and FOR the sake of his own name.
Hope in God. Wait for God.
Help is on the way—even if he doesn’t finally show until Zero Hour. Even if everyone around us seems to be mocking his name.
God still lives. He’s still on the throne. So we know he can still hear and answer us.
One of the most difficult things we can ever do is to trust God when every shred of evidence points against it.
But the descendants of Korah were CONVINCED that God would finally roll up his sleeves and intervene and save them from their troubles. That he wouldn’t be early, but also would never be late.
And we serve the same powerful and living and faithful God as they.
Today, give TobyMac’s song a listen. CLICK HERE. https://youtu.be/yiUCKeY5QD0
Be that rare person who thirsts for the presence of God above all else. Be encouraged, and be reminded—as they were at the end of Psalm 42—that help IS on the way.
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!
Psalm 42:11 NLT