The year was 1965.
I was twelve.
Twelve is an interesting age–you haven’t graduated to being a know-it-all teenager, yet you have left behind most of the innocence of games and toys. In those days, children were sent out of the room during ‘adult’ discussions, so television viewing was still strictly monitored by parents.
Times were quickly changing. The Civil Rights movement was beginning; the war in Vietnam was suddenly gaining attention; and a group of four mop-haired youngsters from England arrived to set the music world ablaze on the ED SULLIVAN show. (This show was a famous variety show whose host made it a point to find and air new and upcoming artists.)
The fact that my parents actually let me watch the show that featured the Beatles was a really big deal! I wasn’t at that screaming/fainting point of life, but young as I was I knew that this group was different than most of the singers and songs that were popular then.
I was a bit young to really get fully involved with the Beatles, but I well remember their famous songs as I listened to them on radio and on (gasp!) 45-rpm records. (For those who don’t remember, 45’s were the smaller vinyl records that needed that thick plastic circular insert in order to play on the record player.) The Beatles rock-n-roll sound, combined with their beautiful melodies and brilliant lyrics left a lasting impression. While I never became a die-hard fan, and didn’t appreciate their lifestyle, I loved their creativity and a lot of their songs.
So, I have to admit that while reading one of David’s Psalms, my thoughts turned to the Beatles. I mean, can’t you just see how David would have enjoyed listening to ‘Help’ as he tended his father’s sheep or was later on his throne in his palace? The lyrics to ‘Help’ revolve around someone who realizes that while they once thought that they had some sort of invincible attitude, life has taught them differently. Now, they are acknowledging that they really need help to make it through life.
David has that same illuminating realization which he puts into song in Psalm 46: 1-5-God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The difference between these two songs is that David manages to identify just WHO it is that he needs, whereas the Beatles acknowledge that they ‘need somebody’ but they have yet to understand where to put their faith.
We all ‘need’ people who support us…but people will let us down.
People, who may have good intentions still hurt us.
People who may love us deeply, still can’t cut it.
People let us down.
God is always rooting for us, cheering us on, and in our midst.
David well knew that God was on our side because he had witnessed how God worked in his life. When he was younger he knew he needed God’s help, and as he aged he knew he needed God’s help.
God’s help is there for those of us who need it.
The Beatles had the right tune…they simply didn’t go far enough in searching for and identifying the true help that they needed in their song…
Have a great Friday. Hope you find time to give a listen to one of the ‘Fab Four’s’ tunes sometime today and reminisce as I did!