Place of Helplessness

“And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful even to death.  Remain here and watch.” (Mark 14:34, ESV)

As I lay there crying uncontrollably, I feel my daughter’s arm wrap around me.  She knows I need comfort, so she quietly lays next to me, not saying a word, just holding me tight with one arm.  She knows what just happened.  Another broken relationship, suffering from a broken heart again.  What she doesn’t know are the real thoughts that are going through my head.  The real reason I am crying.  My heart is hurting so bad I cannot stop the constant sobbing long enough to explain the tears.  So, I continue with the sobs while she continues to hold me.

Has this ever happened to you?  What broken heart have you suffered?  Maybe it was a relationship that ended or the loss of a loved one. Perhaps addiction has built a wall between you and a family member.   Whatever the reason for your despair, it brought you down to a place of helplessness.  A place that you felt you would never recover.  We are sure that this is it; we cannot go on.  We have hit bottom, and there is nowhere to go.  What now?  Have you been there?

There was a man in the Bible that felt this same despair.  He was innocent of the crime that the chief priests accused him of, but they crucified him anyway.  I imagine when Jesus went out to pray in Gethsemane that he was feeling the same physical sickness that we feel when we are suffering.  Knowing what was about to happen to him, he cried out to the Father and asked him to “Remove this cup from me.” (Mark 14:36, ESV)

Can you imagine knowing what you are about to face?  I would have run the other way.  But not Jesus.  He knew that this was needed to save people.  He knew what his mission was, and he planned to go through with it.  Jesus makes this evident when he says, your will, not mine (v. 36).  But imagine the mental anguish that he must have felt, knowing the physical torture he was about to endure.  I think if anyone knows the feeling of despair that we go through when our hearts break, it’s Jesus.

It was Jesus that I was thinking about on the night of another broken relationship.  I remembered what Jesus did on the cross for me.  I admitted through my tears that the only reason I was at this place of brokenness was that I had taken my eyes off the cross. I wasn’t crying uncontrollably because of another broken relationship.  The revelation of my depravity is from where the tears were flowing.  The shame and guilt of forty years of the wrong choices had finally caught up to me.  I no longer could excuse or justify my habits and addictions away.  I was at my bottom, that place of helplessness where the only thing I could do was crawl back and fix my eyes on the cross. 

 Start where you are. Don’t try to change your life to fit Jesus in.  Fall on your face and admit your need for Him.  Pray every day.  Be open to listening to His direction.  A little bit each day becomes more.  More becomes consistent.  Consistent becomes like breathing in and out.  As you walk these steps, Jesus fixes you.  Bad things in your life will fall away.  It isn’t because we got up one day and threw all of our habits and addictions into the trash. It’s because we fell on our face and let Jesus take our habits and addictions to the cross, where He nailed them for eternity. 

Just start!

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