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New answers

Desperation is a condition in which hope has faded and what is left is a deep sense of hopelessness, a compounded by a sense of just wanting to give up on it all. These are the times when we are just crying out to God, "Hey, are you listening here???" It is our heartfelt plea for God to answer us because we need help and help seems to be escaping us. There are times I think God has allowed me to get to the place of extreme desperation - of not feeling like I could go any further. He allowed it! He put me in a place where I came smack-dab face-to-face with the inability of my own talent, inadequacy of my own strength, or insufficiency of my own resources in order that he might become my all-in-all. When we get to the place we are relying on our talent, strength, or resources in an exclusive manner, God sometimes needs to put us in the place where we will realize how futile that self-focus really can be.

I call out at the top of my lungs, "God! Answer! I'll do whatever you say." I called to you, "Save me so I can carry out all your instructions." I was up before sunrise, crying for help, hoping for a word from you. I stayed awake all night, prayerfully pondering your promise. In your love, listen to me; in your justice, God, keep me alive. (Psalm 119:145-149 The Message)

Up before sunrise, awake into the wee hours of the night, crying for God to listen to our plight - sound familiar to anyone? A plight is often viewed as anything we interpret as an "unfavorable" state. It could be a relationship that has tanked despite things we have done to keep it alive, a financial situation revealing a negative balance more frequently than a positive one, or some emotional struggle within which we find ourselves more often than not wallowing along, but not doing a very good job at 'managing it' at all. Take another look at the meaning of 'plight' and you will observe it is an old world term used to describe the pledging of oneself with the intention of the pledge being as binding as a contract. When we are calling out to God with our cries for him to just answer us, we are making reference to the "bond" we have with him without even knowing it! We are relying on the "contract" or "covenant"! Not a literal piece of paper that binds two parties, but the bond that exists because God first loved us, sought us out as his own, and then entered into a relationship of permanence with us - the kind of 'permanence' many of us have a hard time understanding today.

The relationship may become a little devoid of all the enthusiasm and delight once in a while, but nonetheless, his commitment to us is as permanent as his Word. Nothing can sever us from his constant care. If a void exists, it is our doing, not his. Empty spaces create a sense of emptiness - emptiness only becomes the basis of a lack of hope (desperation). Whenever we create a culture within any relationship which allows for empty spaces, we are open to the feelings of hopelessness that follow. Relationships are meant to be 'filled spaces' - we give too much room for empty ones and there is bound to be failure. God's desire for us in our relationship with him is a total lack of empty spaces! He wants to fill us to overflowing, leaving no space for any sense of doubt, frustration, worry, or fear to enter in. His desire for us in our human relationships with those he places in our lives is this same lack of empty spaces! We need to be attentive to those things we allow to create emptiness within our lives. It takes only one moved pebble in a rainstorm to begin to cut the course for a raging river!

If you find yourself feeling a little empty today, you may not be entirely alone here. It is likely that you are sensing it in a bigger than life way. The relationship you work on first is the one you have with Jesus. In your emptiness, don't cry out for deliverance! Cry out for filling. It is in the filling of the empty spaces that our despair will be dealt its final blow! As all emptiness in our spirit begins to be filled with the presence and power of Jesus, we find there are things we can do to deal with the emptiness in those other relationships. It is like we find new answers! Just sayin!


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