Monday, February 15, 2010


When God gave Jesus the green light on ministry it wasn't long before He began teaching. People had gathered to listen to the new teacher and decide if He was worth listening to and possibly following. He went up on a hillside and began to teach all who would listen. I wonder if the people then reacted in the same way as I do to what He says.

What He says is completely antithetical to all I have been taught in life.

He opens with "God blesses". Who doesn't want that? I would kill for ultimate well-being, inner joy, and peace. The problem soon follows though that those God blesses are poor in spirit. Really? I have been taught by many and there are those who propagate it now that all I need is already within me I just have to get in touch with myself and unlock the power. Somewhere inside of each of us, we are told, is the power to overcome; the power to succeed; the power to find fulfillment. Jesus, however, says that if any of us want the fulfillment of God, the blessing of joy, we are to be poor in Spirit: desperate. I don't want desperation, do you? This means out of my control. Desperation is beyond our control. I must call on someone else to assist and manage the situation. Over the years I have challenged this concept. I, and you, might not have ever verbally challenged this idea, but our actions are voluminous.

It was a Wednesday. I had dropped off my daughter at school and headed back to the house to pick my wife and son. He had an endoscopy scheduled at 1pm. We drove the hour to the hospital, parked, and checked in. While we sat and waited, my son played his video game, and I read. It wasn't long and we were called back into the room for the pre-op process. He changed into the monkey pj's they had for him, which he really liked. They said he could keep his hat on if he wanted, which he also really liked. The nurses and doctors were kind and efficient. After we discussed the procedure and also his background a number of times it was time for the separation. We kissed and hugged him as they took him into the surgical room. Dulcie and I went downstairs and got a coke before returning to the waiting room. We had just down when we got the call that all was fine and the doctor was finished. He would be right out to talk with us. "How smooth was that?", I asked out loud. The doctor came and said all looked fine and we could go into recovery to help our son as we came out of the sleep. About an our later we returned to the room for post-op watch care and finalizing the process. I remember looking at the clock and thinking that this was sweet! We would be home before supper and could get little sis early from our friend. We had signed the discharge papers and been given our instructions. As we gathered up items I thought, "All was well. All was under control. I had this!"

Our son began to moan a little about his stomach, which was the reason we were having the procedure. We didn't think much of it. Then it became a loud moan and we paused to consider it. For the next two hours he writhed in pain and screamed.


During the two hours the nurses came. The intern came. The doctor came. We had no answers. We rolled him down to radiology and they had closed for the day. We rolled him down to the ER and quickly did x-rays. I held him up. I moved him. I laid him down. I rolled the bed. I was doing all I could.


All the while I discussed the situation with God. We had called the church and asked for prayer. My wife prayed. I prayed. I think everyone was praying! I watched for two hours as my son, my only son, writhed in pain and I could do nothing to stop it. I hugged him. I comforted him. In one of those moments he said, "Nothing will help! I can't take it anymore!!" I was powerless. I was in poverty. I was desperate. God was our only hope. As we prayed, God provided a peace.

Once our son was able to empty himself, he basically passed out and went to sleep. He was quiet. He was calm. He breathed easier. He rested. We rested. Soon we left and went home. The power of Heaven resolved the issue that day. The prayers of many, including ourselves, called upon the King of Kings. I acknowledge in my heart what I knew in my head. I am poor in Spirit. In those moments, the kingdom of Heaven became ours in its power and glory. We praised God for the relief and rest that early evening as we waited to go home. The prayers of desperation were the answer. So often, our prayers do not come out of desperation. Our prayers often come from want, or anger, but not desperation. We have been taught to be self-sufficient. We have been shaped into a mentality that those in need got there on their own and can get out of it as well if they only tried harder.

Our only hope is found in God. He alone has provided the pathway of hope in Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus alone that we have hope of eternity, joy for today, and spiritual balance. The more I try to fix me, help me, solve me, manage me I fall out of balance and forget my desperate position. I have been fooled into believing that I can manage. To quote an old hymn, "My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."

I will never forget what it felt to be desperate. It will forever mark our lives. I completely understand now...

God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

We were blessed that day! God gave us a strength, peace, and joy in a moment that called for everything else. I pray I never forget it. May I never challenge it again.

When have you been desperate? Comment please!

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