Loss, pain, loneliness, hopelessness, betrayal.
Been there. Done that. Did not like it!
When life—the things, the people, the needs—is out of control…when I can’t make things happen the way I want…when it goes on and on…when there is much pain and little hope…desperation takes over.
Our friend King David understood. Hear his cry of desperation in Psalm 142:
I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble….
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life….
Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need…
God welcomes our cries. He knows life in this fallen world is difficult, painful, desperate.
When I am desperate, I eventually:
*Fall on my face before God, usually literally.
I pour out my desperation, I cry out to Him, I admit my hurt, my disappointment, my fear, my frustration, my anger. I tell him once again that my life is not the way I want it.
*Say “Thank You, Lord.”
Not for my desperation, but in my desperation. Thus, acknowledging that I know and believe that He is God and He is good.
*Open my hands.
Often that means literally making a fist—holding tight to my wants and desires, my hopes and fears, my pain and hopelessness—and then one by one prying my fingers open so God can take out what He wants and put in His very good for me.
*Rest in Him.
Sometimes the release and relief are immediate. Other times it takes time. But the leaning into Him and experiencing His comfort and peace produce healing and hope and rest.
David recognized that only the Lord could free him from his desperate place:
I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
I can gain comfort and encouragement from family, friends, books, counselors…. But when I am desperate, there is truly only one place to find deliverance: the God who loves me and promises to care for me.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all… (Psalm 34:17-19)
What about you? Are you desperate yet?
C2012 Judy Douglass