by Sharon Betters
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Genesis 2:18 ESV
God created us to need one another. That is certainly clear way back in Genesis 2:18 when God declared that Adam should not be alone. God made a helper fit for Adam. This was not an “oops” moment in creation. God did not suddenly realize that He had made companions for each of the animals, but forgot to create a companion for Adam. One of God’s priceless gifts to humanity is the need for community. He intentionally created Adam to need Eve. He intentionally created us to need one another. God created men and women to complement one another. Men and women complete one another, not just in marriage but in all walks of life.
As we continue to unpack the life-giving journey of Anna, we see that God intentionally created Anna as a life-giving helper to the church in general, but on this momentous day, to this elderly priest in particular, Simeon. Just as Adam needed Eve, Simeon the priest needed Anna the Prophetess.
We will dig a little deeper into those profound moments experienced by Mary and Joseph with Simeon and Anna, but for today, let’s take a minute to think about how helpers reflect the very nature of God. God did not create women as less than men. If that were true, He would not use a word to describe women that also describes His character:
O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
God created men and women as partners, not as competitors. Whether you are a CEO, a teacher, a cashier, a housekeeper, a nanny, or a business owner, pushing relationships through the grid of helper, will help build genuine partnerships and opportunities to learn from one another. Simeon’s message to Mary and Joseph, but to Mary in particular, was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. Simeon acknowledges that this baby is the longed for Messiah, but then warns Mary that a sword will pierce her own soul. Anna’s words soften the blow of Simeon’s.
For decades Anna not only grew deep spiritual roots through prayer and fasting, but her relationship to God overflowed in her 24/7 life-giving service to the people of God. Her love for God’s Word and intimacy with Him sensitized her to this supernatural moment where she recognized the very Messiah for whom she longed. In this profound moment, she displayed the character of God as our Helper when she comforted Mary with life-giving words:
As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you.
Isaiah 66:13 NIV
God kept His promise of comfort to Mary through His servant Anna. Who needs to sense God’s comfort through your touch and words today? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and ears to unspoken needs. Perhaps a cashier or a salesperson or a child or student needs to experience the comfort of a mother. You can be God’s promise keeper as you share His comfort at just the right moment.
Store Up More Treasures
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview "Hope When A Child Loses A Parent" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Joy was 10 years old when her mother lost her battle with aggressive breast cancer. Her two little sisters looked to her for mothering. She became her father’s confidante as he tried to navigate grief, single parenthood, and looking for a new wife. Joy’s story gives listeners a glimpse into how the loss of a parent can create an ever widening circle of grief that takes years to process.