“Oh God, what’s wrong with me?
Why does nothing ever work out?”
We all know the feeling of desperation. That void within. It screams a hollowness that only the frantic one awaiting an answer hears.
This was Sarai. Her vacant desperation encompassed all of her, but mainly camped out between tired breasts and the space Abram occupied for pleasure and promised generations. Yet, to their disappointment, their eager union only fed an abandoned womb.
Hope is lost in time. Waiting is fodder for desperation.
What have you been waiting on? What area of life has you “on hold” and you’re about to scream because no one picks up your call on the other end?
You are about to make a choice, but it’s one of accelerated anxiety, not tempered, prayerful leading.
These kinds of decisions are far too easy to make because we love to be “helpers” of God. We like to get things going, as any good American would, although this isn’t a modern day temptation. Sarai became desperate and looked to her Egyptian maidservant to fulfill the longing (Genesis 16:1-2). It’s so interesting to me that when we try to “help” God, we not only make choices for ourselves, but we make choices for others.
Hagar’s entire life changed because of Sarai’s choice.
Another intriguing fact is that once the wild choice is made, we freak out over the results (Genesis 16:4). This is easy to understand because when we act in desperation, the chances of a positive outcome are slim.
Do you feel desperate? What choice are you tempted to make in this state of mind?
One of my favorite Steps in The Jeremiah Method (TM) is Step 4: Walk in it! This is where we get up and get going. The Step is about action. But by going through the process, that choice is seasoned with three previously important Steps, two of which are Stand and Look!
Even though you may feel unglued, are you remembering to Stand and Look at the crossroads before you?
Even if you’re of an ancient age, God may still be asking for a patient pause.
Faith is built here. Subdue the helper a bit longer and watch where God may act. Choose to respond, rather than push the quick reaction button.
Additionally, here’s another thought that flips us over and forces us to look at this a different way…
We have the privilege of the entire Bible at our fingertips. Therefore, we know how Sarai’s (now Sarah) story turns out. Even in her desperate decision to help God, He still fulfilled His promise (as He works in our mistakes as well).
Isaac is born from the barren womb of lost hope.
We know that the saga turns dreadful when God requests the unthinkable of Abram (now Abraham). But I want to draw out the fact that God did not request a hasty decision in a time of desperation, but during a season of fulfillment.
Abraham had his son. The two were now three and God’s promise of fruitful nations from their offspring could come to pass.
Abraham wasn’t waiting for anything when God tested him. He simply called, “Abraham.”
In light of my previous Wednesday’s Action blog, God didn’t have to repeat Himself.
After the first call of his name, Abraham replied, “Here I am.”
Even more impressive than this, once God reveals His absurd request of child sacrifice, Abraham doesn’t delay in action. He doesn’t wait for January 1 as a resolution to obey. He doesn’t wait until all the food in the tent is consumed before he heads out. He doesn’t wait until “Lent” to give up what he loves. He gets up early the next morning and saddles the donkey (Genesis 22:1-3).
Isn’t it ironic that when God doesn’t act in the way we’d like, we become desperate, impatient and take matters into our own hands. But when He does act through a request of His beloved children, we fail to hear. We delay. He has to repeat Himself over and over again.
Might you be so focused on the desperate, unanswered wait that you are missing a repeated call elsewhere?
I’m thankful for Abraham’s example of obedience. As I read through the Bible, he’s as impressive as Noah.
I hope someday to inch closer to their example, but today I must confess that God did call my name. He asked me to give up some things that I love for a time. Unfortunately He had to repeat Himself. Then, while He used people, songs, and sleepless nights to get my attention, I conveniently waited until Lent to obey. Don’t be too impressed by my choice of fragrant offering. This should’ve been done well before Ash Wednesday. Also, the jury is still out as to whether I’ll make it to Easter without bread, wine, and a chocolate to wash it down.
Thankfully, 12 days in, I’m a success story. But it hasn’t been without moments of desperation when I want to take matters into my own hands and choose to help foster what I think is better.
There is always grace in a new day! There is grace in your season of desperation.
Photo Credit: (Flickr) Creative Commons
Kim’s signature closing:
Welcome new readers, and those well loved! My blogs are focused on authentic Christianity and real life decisions. History proves that my readers interact most comfortably through an email exchange, rather than a public comment. You are always welcome to find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your questions or comments and will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
My deepest desire is for you to know Jesus real. He is not just a positive thought, a model to follow, or a comfortable space to hear love. He is life. Adventure. He can be the very air you breathe with just one decision. I never knew Him until I ended up sitting on a dirty field in India. He met me there, and that gripping tale of redemption is found in my life’s work: The Chance to Choose: Become Who You Were Meant to Be One Choice At a Time. I’d love all my reader’s to know the story. It is there where you’ll understand me, and the One I serve, best. Click on printed/signed copy, or Kindle version (also available on Nook and Apple iBook) to purchase, and if you need more, check out the book trailer below: