Lately, as I read through the Bible, I’m struck by a particular trait of the people who had encounters with Jesus. Most of them demonstrated absolute desperation!
By definition, desperation is the state of being desperate.That means being reckless because of despair, hopelessness, or urgency. It’s having an urgent need, desire, etc.
That sounds dramatic and serious, doesn’t it? Having a reckless sense of urgency because of an urgent need. This is what I see in the stories of the people I read about.
Of course, I don’t have the ability to point out all the examples, but let’s talk about a few!
How about the woman with the issue of blood, the man healed of leprosy who came back to worship Jesus, the blind man who called to Jesus despite the crowd telling him to be quiet and the paralyzed man who was lowered through the ceiling. Or even, how about the parable of the persistent widow? In all of these examples, the importance of desperation is shown.
The woman ran out to Jesus to touch the hem of his robe. The men with leprosy called out to Jesus for healing. The blind man called out to Jesus louder and louder until he responded. The paralyzed man was lowered through a roof! The persistent widow kept going to the judge until she got justice. They knew what they wanted and they didn't relent in the pursuit of it.
Fact is, the woman with the issue of blood could have been killed for touching someone because she was considered unclean. By society's norm she should have been hidden away somewhere. Instead, she reached out. The lepers were city outcasts. No one could touch them and they couldn’t enter the city even to get food. They relied on others to survive, yet here the lepers call out until Jesus responds. The blind man was likely looked down upon and had to resort to begging to survive. He never saw Jesus’ miracles but heard about them and that was enough for him to call out! He called out even when people told him to be quiet because he knew there was hope in Jesus. The man lowered through the roof had to have his friends carry him through the crowd, then make a hole in the roof, then lower him in! That could have gone wrong on in so many ways but he had to get before Jesus. And in the parable of the persistent widow, the woman was without a husband meaning she was seen as less-than in a society where males where the head of household and society. Yet she knew what she wanted and she pleaded her case before the judge until the judge finally gave her what she was asking for.
Whether true story or parable, all of these people reached out and cried out until their pleas were heard. They went after what they needed. They cried out with a reckless sense of urgency that told them that despite the potential of death, being stoned, being beaten or being rejected by society, Jesus was worth going after. They risked their reputations and even their lives to see breakthrough come to pass.
And what’s best about all these examples is that their desperation resulted in breakthrough!
These stories show that Jesus has a heart for His people. In the parable it even says "Don't you think God will give justice to His chosen people?"
It’s an obvious reminder that He hears our cries. He knows our needs and He's faithful to respond.
HOWEVER, our willingness to cry out to Him is key!
In many ways, I think we all could stand to be a little more desperate in our pursuit of Jesus. We could all take a little more of a risk in calling out to Him, because it’s in these desperate moments of pursuing truth that breakthrough happens.
I’ve recently been so challenged as I’ve read through the gospels because in some ways, I've found myself pulling back from calling out in fear that Jesus won't hear or that what I share won’t have an effect. I've given into doubt and, ultimately, I've shown doubt about my belief in His character by not crying out even when He's the very solution to all my needs.
So, I challenge each of us today to think about when we last desperately pursued Jesus.
When was the last time we ran to Him?
When was the last time we called out to Him?
When was the last time we did all we could to see Him?
I don’t want my answer to be last week or the last time something went wrong. I want my life to demonstrate daily pursuing Him. In the good, bad, ugly and the wonderful, I want my desperation for Him to grow.