May 8, 2012
"She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped." Luke 8:44 (NIV 1984)
Having three little boys in five years just about did me in. There was no such thing as a routine, as much as I tried to implement one. Just when I thought I had one behavior issue figured out, another one popped up.
Parenting books were somewhat helpful, but they didn't address how to manage three kids, with three unique personalities, at once. What worked for one didn't work for another. I was drowning and desperate.
My husband and I signed up for a parenting class at church, and received a glimpse of hope. We wanted more than one class, but there was no one to head up a parenting ministry. Our pastoral team was overwhelmed with existing responsibilities. Even though their hearts wanted to offer more, their time was limited. So when one of the pastors asked us to help out with the parenting ministry, we were desperate enough to say "yes."
As we stepped into a leadership role, we discovered most people declined to help, saying they didn't feel qualified. "Neither do we," we replied. But we were ready to try anything to get support, even revealing to everyone that we weren't perfect parents.
For the few years we led the parenting ministry we had to step far out of our comfort zone and risk much in order to get help. But it worked. As we shared our problems with other parents, we received wise counsel and practical suggestions that made a big difference.
Thousands of years ago there was another woman who was just desperate enough to get help. She had been bleeding for 12 years and no one could help her. But when Jesus came to her neighborhood, she was ready to try anything. I imagine she was embarrassed, and weakened because of her bleeding. She must have gathered every ounce of energy and courage to get to Jesus.
The Bible tells us there were crowds following Jesus that day. Yet somehow, this determined woman navigated her way through the masses to touch the cloak of Jesus, and the Bible tells us she was healed immediately.
In spite of all those people who must have been pressing up against Jesus, He knew someone had reached out and touched Him. As He stopped, the people stumbled into each other, turning their heads to determine what happened. In a gentle voice, Jesus asked, "Who touched me?"
After everyone denied it was them, the woman came trembling before Him. She told Jesus and the assembled crowd why she had touched Jesus and how He had healed her. Jesus then said to the women, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."
Desperation causes people to do different things. Some people make wrong choices, believing their backs are against a wall. Some people go into hiding, hoping a problem will go away.
Yet others are desperate enough to do something risky and full of humility to get help. Sometimes God uses other people to help us, and sometimes He is the only One who has the answers.
In the difficult times we face, many of us have problems that push us to the point of desperation. It is my prayer that instead of desperation defeating you, it motivates you to seek help. Whether God Himself provides your deliverance, or He uses someone else, trust He already has a plan to help.
Dear Lord, only You know the desperation I feel right now. Only You see the troubles that weigh me down. I confess that I don't have the strength or wisdom to find an answer. However, I trust that You are already planning my deliverance. I trust in Your perfect timing. Please show me what to do next, and direct me to the source of help. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
When Your Child is Hurting (eBook) by Glynnis Whitwer
Always There, an inspiring compilation of devotions for moms written by Renee Swope, Ann Voskamp, Kim Hill, Haley DiMarco, Susan Wallace and many more.
Reflect and Respond:
Identify one problem in your life that seems overwhelming. Commit to telling one person about that problem this week, and asking for prayer.
Pray Psalm 142:6 below when you're feeling desperate.
Psalm 142:6, "Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me." (NIV)
Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD." (NAS)
© 2012 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 08 May 2012.