Importunate Desperation

When I was younger, I went with my family to a Giants game. Bonds and Benard were throwing the baseball back and forth in the outfield and all the kids in the stands behind them ran up to wave at them, hoping beyond hope for a ball to be thrown their way. I was one of them. I threw my mitted hand up in the air and waved it all over the place trying to get their attention. “Here! Over here!” I shouted. “Throw it here!”

Bonds looked at me for a few seconds and I was sure he’d throw it to me, but he ended up throwing it to another kid who had his mitt down over the wall. I’m sure there was no way I would have caught a ball thrown to me with my mitt waving desperately in the air that way. Being a Major League ball player, he knew that, so he threw it to someone else. I was totally heartbroken and kicked myself for days over my futile attempt at snagging a ball.

There are times when we want something so desperately that we ask God for it so importunately that there is no way He can (or will) give it to us.

“The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just the time when God can’t give it; you are like the drowning man who can’t be helped because he clutches and grabs.”

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by our circumstances or our wants, desires, or dreams that we beg and beg and can’t understand why we don’t see it happen. We see only our need, only our desire, but can’t seem to get into the position for the receiving. In fact, we may be crying out so much that we don’t hear the answer when it comes!

As my Pastor says, “Slow down.”

When our desire is bigger than we can handle, when our situation is spiraling out of control, when our need is greater than we can imagine, get quiet before God. Remember, He wasn’t in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. He was the whisper; He was a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12). That voice can calm any storm, bring to order any chaos, and has the answer to any problem we could ever think up.

Prayer: God, teach me to be silent and patient. I know that if I take it slow and don’t let myself get overwhelmed, patience will have it’s perfect work and I will lack nothing. Help me to be careful where I put my attention and focus. Show me how to handle distraction and when I need to lay down a desire I have so I can readily receive Your perfect will. Thank You for Your great patience with me. Thank You that through Christ I can do all things, and because of Him in me, I can overcome anything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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