Desperate seems to be a negative word. How could being desperate be anything to which anyone aspires? Lately, I’ve discovered that desperation is an important state of spiritual being.
I had one of those Aha! moments as I was watching the aftermath of theHurricane Katrina. Growing up in Florida I have weathered many a hurricane. Wealways lived inland and I only remember boarding up our windows one time. Hurricanesare a part of life. I had little understanding of how much this hurricane wouldhelp me understand the world more profoundly.
As the pictures from the Superdome—where twenty thousand people soughtshelter for days—were shown on television, I realized how desperate thoseconditions were. I could sense that those people were trapped in a dark hell.Reports of rape and murder and death grieved my soul. These realities suddenlyhelped me see how desperate I am as a human. I could see myself in that Superdome,at the mercy of the neighbors who shared my world, unable to continue livingwithout water and supplies. I could comprehend that had I been there, I couldhave died there. I understood for the first time what it means that we are dust(Psalms 103:14)! I grasped the fact that being human means being desperate.
Why didn't I know this sooner, you may wonder? It’s because I don't liketo face the fact that I'm desperate. Make that, I didn't like to facethe fact that I am desperate. Now that I truly see how desperate I am, I findit joyful. As a human I may be desperate, but I'm also prideful. I think I’vegot it all figured out. I think I can make my life work if I just follow therules and work hard enough. These thoughts blind me to the fact that I am desperate.It worked for a long, long time. But, I'm grateful to God that He treats me likeI'm desperate before I even know that I am.
I'm not the only one who is desperate. Even if you don't realize it, you aredesperate too. Every human is desperate and whether they know it or not, Goddoes. He has cast a rescue object to every one on earth. It is the cross of Christ.He throws it out to anyone with the sense enough to know he is desperate andto grab on to His offer of salvation.
But there’s more to desperation on our spiritual journey. I’ve discoveredthe delight of being desperate. God has invited me to become desperate for thepower of the Holy Spirit in my life. He asks me to admit I am desperate and unableto live for Him without His help through the Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:13 saysit this way: For it is God who works within you to will and to act accordingto his good purpose. I remember reading that very Scripture and realizingI was desperate when I was seventeen years old. I remember sharing how disturbingthat thought was to me to with my youth worker. I remember realizing that itwas the truth. But somehow I forgot the lesson. In the almost three decades thathave passed, I’ve been denying that I'm desperate. No longer; this timeI'm going embrace the fact that I'm desperate. It’s easy to do when youknow that the One Who made you has known all along that you are desperate andis there to give you everything you need.