Aiden is a really good helper. It makes him so proud to be able to help daddy do things – moving furniture, putting away dishes, digging in the garden, pushing the wheel barrow, and on and on. You should see the look on his face when I ask him to help me with something.

The other day that got me thinking about the way God works in the world. When Aiden is “helping me” move the coffee table so that we can vacuum around it, there’s no doubt that he is pushing with all the strength in his little toddler body. But is that enough? No. Not yet. So even when he “helps” me, it’s still daddy doing all the real work.

So why have him help? Because it teaches him how to do things. It gives him confidence. It helps him develop independence. There will come a day when I expect him to be able to do things all by himself.

People often question God about why he lets poverty, disease, death, and heartache run rampant throughout the world. I think it’s because God wants us to “help.” Now, is there really any miraculous healing or global change that can come about simply by our own efforts? That would be like my toddler trying to move that coffee table all by himself. We can’t do these things without God’s help. But that doesn’t mean he lets us sit back while he does everything. He urges us to help him.

Why? For all the same reasons that I encourage my own son to help me! While God may not need our help, we need to be helping him. That’s why he urges us to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). That’s why he puts it in the hands of the church to feed the feed, to house the homeless, to take care of orphans and widows (Matthew 25:31-46; James 1:27).

Could God say the word and cure all diseases, equalize all wealth, and change the hearts and attitudes of everyone on earth? Of course! And one day he will (Revelation 21:5-3). But what would we learn from that?  What would that teach us about having compassion for others? How would that help build character? What would that do to build a sense of community? How would that unite people around a certain cause?

When Aiden helps daddy, he benefits more than I do. When we “help” God, we’re changed for the better. We reap the benefits.

Are you your father’s helper?