DESPAIR. The time in your life, in your day, in an instant when you’ve had quite enough. Frustration gives way to pent-up anger, which gives way to exasperation. You know the time; you cannot resolve a situation and it sends you into an oblivion of pain, mental, emotional and spiritual. These sorts of life events appear on a banal afternoon and disappear by the evening or next morning, or they last on and off for a season. The point is, despair is felt, it’s never pretty, it resembles hell in a hand basket, and life is swiftly wished over. And I’m sure just about every thinking, feeling being has thought and felt it.
So that’s the problem.
What about the solution?
The solution is simple with God, yet not so simple for us. We overlook the significant and make important what should never be. We take time for things that ought not receive our attention, yet we aren’t even aware of those things that we cost us nothing to save our sorry skin. Our foresight is poor and our hindsight is useless.
As our moments of despair come, even as they approach imminently yet from a distance, from within our line of sight, we need perspective, even as they loom and build. We must learn to foresee that which intends to crush us. Such skills in the discernment are wisdom as tools to ward against exasperation.
The opportunity is enhancement; to move beyond temptation to exasperation.
It’s only the person who is controlled — who is controllable from outside influences — who can be exasperated. Yet we all fall for such follies of impetuosity because we fail to expect infuriating circumstances of life that push us into that territory.
If we expect life will vex us we’ll plan to be gentle with ourselves in the throes of a second’s insanity. We’ll learn to delay our self-condemnation and keep the pressured moment simple. Doing this is about making something inordinately complex astoundingly simple by the efficiency of inaction. We stop. We brace. We bear up. And in utter simplicity for an interminably fractious moment we overcome.
If we’re in the midst of being overwhelmed by exasperated sorrow beyond our ability to endure, let us stop, and sink, and slow down, and ponder, and contemplate.
If you’ve had enough, and you’ve been pushed too far, and you’re ready to give up, don’t doubt God’s ability to restore you, even in a moment.
God changes us through our perspective, which is the power of the awareness to choose something better against the flow of our tyrannical mood.
God restores us in the moment of despair by reminding us of the gentle power in his grace. He empowers us to choose the light.
God gives us grace when we’re in the dark if our hope is light. But if our hope is dark we’re already defeated. The power in God’s grace only works when we add the strength in our weakness to it.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.