Help arrives

Pastoral Messages | November 16, 2023

Earlier this fall, Mike Fitz was sitting at his computer gazing at a webcam streaming from Katmai National Park near Kodiak, Alaska. The stationary camera has been in place for years and often catches bears or other animals meandering around the picturesque area. But on this particular day, it wasn’t a bear that walked in front of the camera. It was a hiker—who happened to be lost.

Dense fog was covering the mountainous region, along with driving rain and strong winds. All of which made for difficult hiking conditions. The man was so turned around, he had no idea how to make his way down from the mountain. Until he happened upon this camera.

He walked up, looked right into the lens, and mouthed the words “Help. I think I’m lost.” Thankfully, Mike and a couple dozen other people just happened to be looking at the screen as he approached. They had no way of communicating with the hiker that they saw him. But they quickly alerted park rangers who then headed up the mountain to find the lone hiker. For his part, he stayed put, briefly checking in and staring into the camera a few times each hour. I suppose he was just hoping there was someone on the other side of the screen paying attention.

Thankfully, a handful of rangers found the hiker safe and sound and were able to escort him back down the mountain. As they hiked, they told him about people as far away as Maine who had called in to make sure he was safe, many of them being people he didn’t know or would never meet. I can only imagine he fell asleep that evening counting his blessings.

Hearing this story, it’s hard not to think of the words of Psalm 121: “I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help come from?” It’s a rhetorical question, of course. God promises to be our constant help and steady presence.

But what does it really look like to have God’s help?

Well, for one person, it might be anonymous nature enthusiasts intent on making sure you’re safe. Other days, help might come in the form of a phone call from a friend. Or the kindness of a co-worker. The smile of a stranger. On some days, you might be the very help someone else is needing.

Help comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. But, most often, the help of God shows up through the caring hands & feet, eyes & ears of other people. Where does our help come from? On mountains or in grocery stores or your own living room. God is sending help—just wait and see.

-Katy Warren, associate pastor

8 Comments on “Help arrives”

  • Barbara Mansholt

    November 21, 2023 at 10:55 am

    What a cool story and delightful way to share the message. Thanks, Katy.

  • Deb Lamp

    November 17, 2023 at 10:37 am

    Katy what a great reminder we are never alone and we are the hands and feet of God. Reaching out to others wherever they are.
    Thank you

  • Linda Hoepner

    November 17, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Katy, I love this! It’s such a gentle reminder of how the help and love of God shows up in many ways we often don’t think about.

  • Laura Kestner-Ricketts

    November 16, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    I loved this story. It demonstrates that we are never alone, even when we think no one is paying attention. Thank you!

  • Katie Hanson

    November 16, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    Beautiful, inspirational writing, as usual, Pastor Katy. Thank you.

  • Lyle Peterson

    November 16, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Help comes to me everyday. My help is in my prayers as l close my eyes listening to soft music sitting in my recliner

  • Ken Winter

    November 16, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Psalm 121 set to music. Very moving.


  • Len Bruce

    November 16, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    A perfect lesson for these days of feeling lost in a world of violence and hate. A perfect opportunity to reach out to family and friends who might just need a word of hope and encouragement
    Thank you 😊

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