We have all experienced desperation in different degrees. The following three individuals reacted differently.
The young couple was married for just a month. The air force staff sergeant finished his conversation with his wife in the kitchen, put his coffee cup down and walked out to the back porch. He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. My son, who is also a staff sergeant, called me that night. He was devastated. At one time, my son shared a house with him. He could not figure out what had caused his good friend to take his own life. He told me that his friend was always happy and kidding around. So much to live for, but despair and hopelessness filled his heart.
The second story has a different twist. Her two children were in the living room watching television; she was in the bedroom with the door closed. She raised the 45 caliber handgun to her head. The children jumped when they heard the shot. The older boy ran outside while the daughter ran to the bedroom door. She screamed for her mother. The boy looked in the window. His mother sat on the floor. She had changed her mind and pulled the gun away before pulling the trigger sending the bullet through the ceiling. She was taking a drug advertised to help people stop smoking. The warning label indicated that one of the side effects was suicidal thoughts. This was her second time to attempt suicide. She thought her addiction was hopeless.
Finally, my desperation.
“Mommy, why is daddy sitting over by the tree crying,” said my daughter.
“You see that pretty white car over there in the driveway, “ said my wife.
“God is allowing that pretty white car to teach daddy a lesson. And those tears, God is using them to clear out daddy's eyes so he can see clearly.”
We all have our hopeless moments in life. This one, some thirty-five years ago, was trivial compared to the other two acts of desperation and seems just down right silly. But, not to me.
Pride had gripped my heart as well as the lust of the eyes. I had a nice plain Jane Opel Cadet station wagon. But, I saw a pretty white Audi with red leather interior. I couldn't afford it, but I wanted it. They say a sucker is born ever second. They must have been talking about me. Even after breaking down during the test drive, it still didn't take much for the salesman to reel me in.
I had the car a month. Within that month I replaced the alternator, battery, fuel injectors, fuel injector distribution unit and boiled out the gas tank. I thought all was fixed. I was asked to help a congregation 2000 miles away. My expecting wife, three children and I started out on the trip. Halfway there the transmission started to slip. It barely moved in low gear; we had to keep it moving in high gear. Several times we had to take a running start to get up a hill. We got stuck in West Virginia at the side of a mountain, but finally made it. After borrowing money to get the transmission fixed, we made it back home. It still had problems. Hopeless? No, my wife was right; I learned how to deal with it and my eyes see more clearly today.
The past two weeks I had to be towed twice, rent two vehicles, walk in sub-zero weather and purchase two vehicles. I didn't cry!
Cars have been my “thorn in the flesh”. God told the Apostle Paul concerning his thorn, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I think I get it now.
We all find ourselves in desperate situations. Jonah felt that God's plan for him was hopeless. He told God, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Jeremiah asked God, “Why does my suffering continue?”
Hopeless situations help us to see God more clearly. Psalms 31:24 KJV tells us, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”
Concerning the first two situations, I am not sure of of their hope. May we all reach out to those lost souls without God and our Savior. They are reaching out. They are at a dead end.
My heart and faith have been strengthened through seemingly hopeless situations. I have the hope of salvation and an eternity WITHOUT CARS!
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