The Point of Desperation
Yesterday my daughter told me about a friend of hers who, together with her husband, has been facing a huge problem. Michelle (not her real name) said that she had found prayer very difficult, often wondering whether it would in fact do any good. Still, in talking with others she would always claim to believe in prayer and would be grateful when people would tell her they were praying for her situation.
Recently a question began running through her mind, “If I say I believe in prayer, shouldn’t I be demonstrating that belief in some way?” Then she was honest enough to admit that her actions indicated she really didn’t place a high value on prayer at all. As a result of that objective look at herself, she has committed to getting up early every morning to pray for an hour about the challenge she and her husband are facing.
Michelle is grappling with something Jesus put into words in Luke 6: 46-49: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
It’s a question I ask myself regularly… “If I really believed what God says about this or that, how would I act?” Some examples:
Scripture says, Don’t be anxious about anything, so why am I worrying?
The Bible says, Fear not, for I am with you, so why am I up tight and afraid?
God’s Word says, Honor others above yourself, so why do I demand my own way?
Long ago a professor challenged me. He said, “Sharon, you will get things fixed in your life when you get desperate enough. But quite frankly, I don’t think you’re desperate enough yet.” He was right… when I finally got desperate for God, I began to take Him at His word and act accordingly. Then change happened.
So, I think I’m desperate again. I say Jesus is my Lord, so I realize I need to reinstate some activities that corroborate that claim. Therefore, as of today I have five verses written on a paper which is in my pocket. I am reading them over and over, working on memorizing them and determined (maybe desperate?) that regular Bible memorization is moving from my back burner to my front. After all, I say it’s important don’t I?
It’s a good feeling… this desperation. It gives me renewed hope, renewed expectation, renewed joy. I recognize that there are lots of things I should get desperate about… but admittedly I’m not quite there yet. I think getting me there is one of the Holy Spirit’s jobs. And He’s excellent at pointing out the next project precisely when I need it!
In the meantime, I’ll be repeating and repeating and repeating. Thanks a lot, Michelle!