What True Desperation Looks Like

Written By: Dr. Ravae Wilson


September 26, 2022

What Does True Desperation Look Like?

Many years ago, there was a young twenty-something-year-old girl who, on the surface, seemed to have it all together. She had a house she called her own, a job doing what she loved, and friends and family who cared deeply for her. Looking at her positive, outgoing demeanor, one would never guess the inner battle that consumed her to the depths of her soul — one full of panic, fear, and anxiety.

As the days went on, the weight of this battle became harder and harder to fight. She felt overwhelmed and was living in a constant state of panic and anxiety. She felt trapped, like she was in a box with a giant elephant sitting on top and no way to escape. One day when she no longer could function in this state, she snapped. In a fit of hysteria, she dragged herself to her parent’s house to confess that she no longer could bear the weight of her feelings and needed help. She was drowning and was desperate for a life-raft.

She was me.

The events following that day are still a bit of a whirlwind blur. After talking with my parents, I called my then-boss to discuss what had been happening. They graciously gave me the time needed to step back and take care of my mental health. I spent the next two weeks seeing doctors and counselors to help me find the right prescription to help balance my emotions and the right practices and tools I would need to start the long journey ahead.

And a long journey it was [and honestly, still is]. Each day it was a constant struggle to pull myself out of bed and get myself ready for the day. Yet, by the grace and hand of God, I did. But I didn’t do it all by my own strength or willpower. It wasn’t even because I was crying out to God, asking Him to pull me out of my despair — because I didn’t have the energy to cry out to Him. The people in my life stepped in to help me when I couldn’t help myself.

In Mark 2, we find Jesus in a home in the town of Capernaum, and the crowds gather to see Him. They packed the house till there was no room for anyone else. Hearing that Jesus was in town, four friends carried a man who could not walk to Jesus, confident that Jesus could heal him. But due to the crowds, they could not get their friend close enough. In a moment of desperation, the friends dug a hole through the roof and lowered their friend down, placing him at the feet of Jesus. And scripture tells us that Jesus saw their faith and said to their friend,

“Son, your sins are forgiven…I tell you, “He said, “get up. Take your mat and go home.” And the man got up, and took his mat. Then walked out. –Mark 2:5, 11–12 [NiRV].

Jesus healed this man not just because He had the power and authority to do so but because of the faith and perseverance of his friends. They were DESPERATE to get their friend to the feet of Jesus because they knew that Jesus was the only one who could heal and bring him to restoration with the Father. They believed in Jesus. They didn’t just admire Him like many who were gathered in crowds. They followed Him, and they wanted their friend to experience the same.

While there are many important things this story teaches us, I want to share two that hopefully resonate with you today.

1️⃣ Who you choose to surround yourself with matters. During one of the darkest points of my life, my family and friends were on their knees, crying out to God on my behalf — fighting to get me to the feet of Jesus. I was desperate for a glimmer of hope, and my people were desperate to bring it to me.

We need to evaluate the friendships we have in our lives. We must ask ourselves, “do I have friends who would do anything to get me into the healing presence of Jesus?

It’s important to have these kinds of friends in your life and if you are struggling right now and desperate for help or healing, do whatever is necessary to get to these people. Because in the moments where you don’t have the words to speak — they can speak them on your behalf. Let me remind you that Jesus healed this man because of the faith of his friends. Don’t hesitate to bring your needs to your friends.

Don’t underestimate the power of your prayers and petitions on behalf of others. Do whatever it takes to get the people in your life to the feet of Jesus. I’m thankful for those who didn’t stop advocating for me when I couldn’t do it myself.

2️⃣ True restoration only comes from Jesus. After his friends lowered the man through the roof in Mark 2, Jesus told the man something that would forever change his life. Jesus said, “son, your sins are forgiven, now get up.” While the crowds were amazed that a man who couldn’t walk now could, this wasn’t the most important healing that took place. Sure, Jesus healed this man’s physical ailments, but before He did that, He forgave him of his sins. And that was the moment this man was wholly healed, restored, and made new. His physical healing was just an added bonus.

Jesus, at this moment, demonstrated to those gathered around Him that He had the power to forgive sins — that He was God, the Messiah they longed for. And we must never skim over that point. Because in this world, we are always going to have troubles, things we physically need healing from, but at the end of the day, it’s the healing of our soul that we are desperate for and must be desperate for those in our lives experience.

I thank God daily for the people who continually advocate on my behalf in prayer to the Father — those who constantly point me to Jesus. If you are struggling, I pray you experience the true healing that only Jesus can bring. Please know that although we may not know each other, I and many others here at Woodside are praying for you as you read this. We desperately want you to experience true healing and restoration with the Father. We believe in Jesus — that He is able to give you all of this and more.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” — 3 John 1:2