Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la!!! Well for some people anyways, I have come to the conclusion this Christmas that the holiday season brings forth a lot of hurt, depression, pain and fond memories. Memories which are nothing more than memories. Memories we wish we could relive one last time. I am not sure why I have never considered this a factor in previous years, I mean I have surely thought of it in the years past, but this year is different. It has been weighing upon my heart. This time of the year is when most suicides and depression occur. This is supposed to be a happy time right?! A Jolly Time. CHRISTmas time!
For some of us we wonder where do we go from here? Where’s our escape? How do we get from point A to B, C, D, F………. How do we celebrate Christmas with what has been dealt to us? As I set and look at the people around me in stores, restaurants, TV, and social media I see a lot of broken people. People desiring for something to well, make life better, to make their pain dissipate even if it’s just for a second, couples seeking healing in their marriages, the sick looking for a cure, people mourning the loss of a loved one, people who are lonely, individuals who are hurting financially, as a friend of mine would say, people who have no sparkle left within their eyes. I don’t know where Christmas finds you individually on this Christmas season night but what I do know is because of Christmas there is hope!
Throughout my 33 years of life I can think of at least two times that I have felt the feeling of desperation one recent time as I have shared here on my blog is my girls and their schooling, as much as I tried to ignore the fact that my girls were struggling with academics, the issue was very present every report card, email, phone call home, on top of fighting and yelling, we’re all reminders of my desperation. There was no running from the issue at hand. And further more nothing we tried to do ever worked! We. Were. Desperate.
Another time of desperation in my life was this time six years ago, where my family was in some of the situations above, situations looking for comfort, guidance and love, looking for something that we could cling too, looking for something to save us as we were drowning and not even realizing it. We were in a place in our lives where the things around us were bursting at the seams, but we kept trying to patch up the holes to cover up the leaks. We can only patch so much until eventually the whole thing bursts open into a huge flood. We can only bottle things up as perfection before the make up starts melting off our faces, and it’s then we stand transparent in front of a mirror only to realize we are a complete disaster in need of saving grace. It was at this very moment in my personal life we decided to go to a Christmas Eve service. As we walked into the church it was then we realized what it was we were missing in our life, it was that night when the true meaning of Christmas came alive in our hearts as a family. It was at that very second God began working within us and started transforming us! From this point on we were never the same. We walked out of church with a fresh outlook on life, and the healing process began to take root within our family.
“The Spirit of God is looking for empty vessels to fill. He takes our little lives and then fills them to over flowing. Only He can change us from emptiness to fullness, from abasing to abounding.” – The Power Of Desperation, Michael Catt
The truth can hurt sometimes, at the same time we can’t ignore it. It’s important for us to know that each human being at some point in our lives will reach a point of desperation. As much as we would like to control the things around us we just can’t. It’s coming to the point of surrenderance and repentance to someone who can.
As I sat there that Christmas Eve night it hit me like a ton of bricks. Why was I celebrating Christmas? For the very meaning of the “holiday” is Christ Himself. The one who came to save the world John 3:17 “God did not send His Son Jesus to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” As tears welled up in my eyes it was then when I realized how desperate I really was.
I want to introduce you to a lady (a widow) in the Bible who was desperate, she had nothing and nowhere to turn. I am going to shre seven verses that have been really speaking to me these last couple of weeks, and hope that you can find peace and comfort through them as Gods word offers. 2 Kings 4:1-7
“Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2) Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3) Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels; do not get a few. 4) And you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out into all these vessels, and you shall set aside what is full.” 5) So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing the vessels to her and she poured. 6) When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not one vessel more.” And the oil stopped. 7) Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
Here you have a lady who was completely desperate. She had nothing but a jar of olive oil. The jar of oil mentioned here was a small travel sized vessel, nothing more than a few table spoons. Here are a few life application points that I want to share with you.
- The widow knew where to turn, she turned to a godly man for help. At her point of desperation she met a humbleness in her she didn’t know she had. I would say she reached a point of surrenderance knowing she couldn’t do it on her own. She needed help of others to get her through this time. Help from God.
- This woman of desperation didn’t argue, debate, or dialogue. She obeyed completely even if what the prophet was asking her to do was crazy. She had no other choice but to listen and obey. God was about to reverse her situation because she was willing to acknowledge her desperate need for Him. Desperate people obey willingly.
- This poor widow acted on her faith and as she did I want you to look back over the scriptures, it says that she shut the door. What she did, she did in the quiet of her own home. We can’t be something in public that we aren’t in private. Roger Berland once shared ” if God is going to use you publicly, He has to tutor you privately.”
- One last point, we are vessels for God’s use, either we allow him to fill us to overflowing or we dry out and wither in our misery. If our vessels are empty it’s not God’s fault, it’s our fault for not getting alone with Him in the act of surrenderance and repentance. “The key to getting ahold of God is to get alone with Him. God seldom meets us in a crowd.” – Michael Catt
If you are at a point of desperation this Christmas season, I encourage you to do like the widow did and surrender yourselves to God. The only way up is down. As the widow poured the oil into each vessel, she was also pouring herself into each one. She poured out her hurts, fears, pride, and tears, she let go of I can do this and allowed God to take over and do it for her. And God showed up and showed out, in verse seven at the end of the story, the Bible says Elishia told the widow to go sell the oil and pay off her debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest. God gave her more than what she needed, He gave her enough to even live on after she paid her debt. She was able to go from defeat to victory.
My life is a true example of God turning a mess into a message, defeat into victory. Let go this Christmas season and let God. Allow Christ to come into your hearts and homes this Christmas season, it’s what Christmas is all about! A savior for the whole world was born for you and for me, it’s up to us to see that we need something in our lives bigger than us. Resign as the commander and cheif of your life. I can promise you, you will never regret it. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year.
“God wants to use us, fill us, and empower us. He is looking for vessels that have been to the bottom and have turned to Him for a fresh filling.” – Micheal Catt
P.S. A ton of references in this blog came from a book called The Power of Desperation by Michael Catt. I highly recommend this book even if you’re not at a desperate point in your life.