What does desperate faith look like?
For me, it is the story of the paralyzed man in the gospels.
“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Mark 2:1-5 (NIV)
Most recently, after hearing this story for what seemed like the millionth time in service, I could hear Jesus ask me, “How desperate are you? How far are you willing to go?”
It was kind of like a “what would you do for a Klondike bar” moment.
What would I do to meet with Jesus? How far would I go to see His glory? How desperate am I for His presence?
I was baffled, and honestly, I wanted to say “Lord, I would do anything, go anywhere just to be with you.”
That was my heart’s intentions and cries because of how much I love Jesus, but as I have looked at my life, I have seen where I have fallen short. It has made me reevaluate my desperation for Christ.
You see the level of our desperation depends on the level of our want. How bad do we want it?
If a drug addict can sell everything they own for something that ultimately destroys their body, then why are we not more desperate for Christ who is good and ultimately the giver of life?
Maybe our problem as Christians is not that we are addicted to Christ’s goodness and the work of His glory, (it is very easy for most of us to pray about things we need or want), but maybe it is that we have not spent enough time with Jesus to have developed an addiction for more of Him. Just more of what He can give us.
Just as the four friends who carried their friend on a mat showed Jesus their faith, we must also be willing to go the extra mile in our actions. They could have spoken their desperation and later brought Jesus to their friend, but that was not good enough for them. They needed Jesus to see him, to see their hunger, to feel the intensity of how badly they wanted their friend healed. When our actions match the intent of our heart, we have stepped into pure desperation.
Those friends could have seen the crowd and the impossibility to get through, but they reasoned in their minds that turning back seemed more impossible than getting to Jesus. We have to come to a point when we are so utterly desperate for the presence and glory of Jesus that the impossible seems logical.
We have to be willing to climb those mountains, dig those openings, and lay ourselves paralyzed by the world, but desperate to sit at the feet of Jesus.