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Lenten Meditation: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

There are many ways God manifests Himself in our lives; often they are simple, and with no particular fanfare. The first time I heard the expression "God helps those who help themselves" I was a young child and I thought it meant I could take what I wanted without permission... a cookie from the cookie jar! That didn't make sense because I knew that would be naughty. As I grew older, I began to understand its meaning and was glad I had never tried to take that "cookie". However, it wasn't until after my husband had died that the full meaning of that phrase was made clear to me.

In the first month after Richard's death and memorial service, my life was a blur of work as I tried to sort out all the necessary paperwork, from bank accounts and credit cards to car titles. I accomplished almost 95% of what was necessary in that first month and then spent three weeks recovering in a state of exhaustion with my sons in New York.

I returned home with some trepidation, wondering what my life was going to be like now that I was alone. I was happy in my house, feeling at home, but I thrive in company. I jumped back into all my activities I had been enjoying when Richard was alive: aqua-aerobics, lunch with friends, my art, and so on. Sundays were busy with church, and breakfast, and lunch with church friends. However, Saturdays were empty. They were awful. I didn't need to be with people all day, but I needed something. I thought about the situation and realized it was up to me to fill those days, so I invited some friends over for dinner the next Saturday. I then spent that day preparing and cooking, followed by a lovely evening with my friends. Perfect… now I just needed to organize all my future Saturdays!

That was in early October. Then, an amazing thing happened. My Saturdays were suddenly full of activities. A Quiet Day at church; a visit from one of my sons; an invitation to dinner; Thanksgiving with the family. I did not have another empty Saturday that I needed to work at filling for the rest of the year. God had seen me trying to help myself and graciously rewarded me by filling those Saturdays with events that I could, and did, participate in.

Much time has passed now, and I sometimes have quiet Saturdays when I usually try to paint but still there are many times when there is an activity that I can join in. I am unbelievably grateful to God for that blessing He has bestowed on me.




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