Have you ever experienced desperation in the true sense of the word?
Most people despair when their well-being or the well-being of their loved ones is compromised. I had the privilege to help someone in despair recently. It was woman with history of chronic pain who just woke up from surgery and who was in severe pain.
Patients who become tolerant to narcotics can be very challenging to manage in the peri-operative setting because pain medications do not work on them like they do in a narcotic-naive person.
Despite large amount of medications already administered during the surgery and immediately afterwards, she was in tremendous pain. I looked in her eyes and I saw desperation. She told me something no patient ever told me:
“I will pay whatever it takes, just take this pain away”
Since large doses of intra-venous narcotics were not helping, I resorted to an old, rarely used drug that is classified as a muscle relaxant. The result was that it relieved the muscle spasm around the surgical site and the patient felt much better.
It was a striking experience because we rarely observe sheer desperation in everyday life. When was the last time you someone utterly desperate? The thing that comes to mind is a parent whose child has been hurt or someone whose life is in imminent danger.
As powerful and scary as desperation can be, it cannot be compared to the feeling that many people will have one day when they realize they will spend eternity apart from God in the place called hell. In the parable of the ten virgins, the five unwise ones desperately went out to buy oil for their lamps, only to return too late. The bridegroom had returned and the wedding feast had begun. Jesus had returned and taken his Church, and the unwise virgins (the compromised “Christians”) received the shock of their life:
‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Matt 25:11
Imagine the despair. The regret. The anger. To be enlightened, to know the truth, to share to some extent in the experience of the wise virgins, but ultimately to be left outside…
There can be no greater failure.
The honest desperation I saw on my patient’s face will be nothing compared to what the fallen Christian will experience when he will be left behind.
I would like to use this example in order to exhort Delight in Truth followers to a life of holiness worthy of our salvation. We must raise our awareness for this spiritual truth, that salvation belongs to the Lord but we are active participants in the process!
Avoid regret and desperation on that final day and instead be ready for your glorification!
Thanks chris for the article. I enjoyed it….the only one place where someone can misinterpret your words is where u mentioned that, “…salvation belongs to the Lord but we are active participants in the process.”….
It is true that a genuine christian will have fruits as a sign that he/she is a true (not counterfeit) christian….just like jesus said, “you shall know them by their fruits”….however, the sacrifice of jesus was perfect/enough and we do not need to help to our salvation with our works….please check out the link below, since I believe it to be a great article on this topic.
I just want to make sure that no one will misunderstand/misinterpret your reference as you imply a salvation that is acquired by faith AND OUR WORKS….that is what catholics, mormons and jehovah’s witnesses teach….Christianity teaches that we are saved by faith alone (ephesians 2:8-9)…
And yes, a genuine christian will have fruits/good works, and should live a holy life as much as he can in this body….but we are not saved BECAUSE of our works….we are saved by putting our trust in christ alone, who paid for our sins on the cross.
thanks again, chris, for being in the Lord’s service.
Thx for the comment, Tibi! You are absolutely correct about salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!
Nothing we do will ever earn salvation.
I was thinking more along the lines of being participants in God’s sovereign process. Participating in the works prepared for us beforehand 🙂 (Eph 2:10)
“continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
But you are right on with respect to this fundamental truth.
God bless you, bro!
I pray that many will accept the free gift of salvation that is promised to all who believe by faith that our Lord, Jesus the Christ, is the only way, the truth and the life. When we truly believe, we bear fruit because we have changed by the power of the Holy Spirit doing a work in us. It is not self-conscious effort but effortless based on our rebirth. We become imitators of Christ, dying to self and picking up our cross daily to follow Him where ever that path leads us. God doesn’t want any to perish, that is why he sent His only begotten son; unfortunately, some of us will not accept this free gift. Free will gives us this choice to either let God’s will be done in our lives or letting our will be done in our lives which ultimately, if it doesn’t line up with God’s will, leads to eternal separation and destruction.
Welcome here Sheila. Very nice comment. One question: what does free will mean?
Thanks for the exhortation, Delight. The picture is worth a thousand words. I have been in pain before but probably nothing like your patient. The parable fits the term “desperation” well.
“Give me oil in my lamp keep me burnin’, burnin’, burnin’,
Give me oil in my lamp I pray…”