Today’s Word: ‘Desperation’ as in… Christ meets us in ours.

Not long ago a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. The news literally took the wind out of me. When I got the message I didn’t move, speak, or breathe until I realized that I wasn’t breathing. Then I gasped. It felt like I’d had the wind knocked out of me. It was a painful, frightening moment.

I’ve walked this road a lot with a lot of people through the years. Every time I get the message there’s a feeling of helplessness and desperation. Sometimes that moment lasts for minutes. Sometimes longer.

In the last half of Matthew 15 there’s a fascinating story about Jesus traveling a great distance to meet with a woman who is desperate to find help for her seriously ill daughter. She’s out of resources, out of time, and out of her mind with worry. So she waits for Jesus to arrive. And he does.

The woman lived a good 60 miles away from where Jesus had just been. How did she know about Jesus? How did she know he could help her? How did she know he’d be walking into town when he did? Who knows? But good news travels fast and she was waiting.

Do you ever feel that way?  Ever feel really “out there” on the edge, far from center, far from secure, far from safe? I do. At five months into a pandemic, it’s really easy to feel like we’re a long way from where we were; a long way from where we want to be.

But friends, that’s the point of this story: there’s never, ever “a place too far” that Jesus won’t go to, to show love and mercy, grace and compassion. The takeaway for me is that if Jesus is willing and able to go to Tyre and Sidon to encounter this woman and her daughter, there’s no place too far, too “out there,” too remote, too disconnected for Jesus to show up in our lives, especially when things seem dire and when we’re feeling desperate.


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