Dwelling in the Land of Desperation

Bible Book: Luke  8 : 41-56
Subject: Desperation; Trouble; Hardship; Deliverance
Series: Dwelling in the Land of Desperation

Desperation is defined as “a strong feeling of sadness, fear, and loss of hope. Surrendering to a state of despair, or the state of hopelessness; leading to rashness.

If we were to Google the word desperate or desperation we would find that the word is used numerous times. We find of course desperate housewives, desperate enterprises, desperate the movie, desperate mom, desperate Dan, desperate quilters, desperate sailors, and the list goes on and on, with 1000’s upon 1000’s of desperate search options. The most fun desperate site that i found was “Desperate Dog USA” found in my very own home state, Braselton Georgia. This is an all inclusive vacation resort for your dog, one in which you pay enough to know that your dog will be in doggie heaven as your off enjoying your own dog free vacation.

In the story today we find that Jairus was living in desperation. He was deep within its dark dreary dungeon of dread and doom. Jesus was ministering to the people along the streets of Capernaum, when suddenly he is confronted with a man that flings himself desperately down into the dust at his feet. This man was Jairus; he was a noble man, a leader of the local synagogue. Jairus was desperate enough that he forgot who he was as he lay there on the dusty roadside begging the Lord.

We live in desperate times. Life is filled with desperate occasions; life cycles itself through various seasons of dreadful dreary desperation. I hope you aren’t there right now, but if you are there is hope.

“I don't think human beings learn anything without desperation. Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything or creating anything. Period. If you ain't desperate at some point, you ain't interesting.” Jim Carrey

I – Desperation and its Dreadful Appearance (40/41)

We can enter into a desperate situation in a matter of mere seconds. We are not made aware of what the illness was that had gripped the body of Jairus daughter. We do know that it was enough to make him seek a source that he probably never considered before this tragedy. Jairus may have come home one day and found out his daughter had grown ill. The illness never resided but only grew worse and more persistent.

We never know when it will come. It could be one phone call or one drive down the road. It could come from the setting of the sun and you find yourself dwelling in the land of desperation before midnight.

“The tragedy of it is that nobody sees the look of desperation on my face. Thousands and thousands of us, and we're passing one another without a look of recognition.”

Henry Miller

I think Henry Miller got it absolutely right. We are surrounded by people that are dwelling in the land of desperation, and most of it goes ignored by the blind selfish hardened multitudes of modern day society.

A) Its Appearance can be Random and Unexpected

The daughter of Jairus was about 12 years old and she was about to die. I would assume nobody expects their 12 year old daughter to be lying near deaths door. This tragedy had to be so unexpected. If we could only have insight into the mindset of Jairus and his family, were they questioning God? How do you face the unexpected? What do you do when suddenly your life has been turned upside down? Do you accuse God? Is it okay to flee and abandon the faith that you once professed? What do you do when your little religious house of cards comes crumbling down and you have nothing left but the bare roots of your faith, can you survive?

Desperation can drive you to hope or hate
Desperation can confirm your faith or corrupt your future
Desperation can develop you or doom you
Desperation can focus your faith or force your failure

B) Its Appearance can be Rattling and Unnerving

“I do believe that most men live lives of quiet desperation. For despair, optimism is the only practical solution. Hope is practical. Because eliminate that and it's pretty scary. Hope at least gives you the option of living.”

Harry Nilsson

Jairus and his family were suddenly facing things that were beyond their control. It is disconcerting when people realize that their money can’t prevent tragedy or death. It is very discontenting when someone with power, prestige, and position face the reality that they are not in control. In this passage we realize that Jairus and his family are at their wits end. It seems as if life may never return to “regular”. If we are honest, what we classify as “regular” is really a façade, it’s not realistic. We try to isolate ourselves from the possibility of being rattled and unnerved, but it is coming. Not one of us will skate through life and not have to face days of deep desperation and heartache.

Poem “Hey”

Hey, you.

Can you help me?

Hey, you.

Can you save me?

Hey, you.

Please help me.

Hey, you.

Please save me.

Hey, you.

Where are you going?

Hey, you.

Don't leave me.

Hey, you.

Come back!

Hey, you.

…please? Poem “Liz Young”

II – Desperation and its Desensitizing Affect (41)

Jairus is now going to do something that he had probably never considered ever in his life. He was going to go find this man Jesus of Nazareth and lay out his complaint before him. I wonder if Jairus had rehearsed the scenario in his mind as he rushed to the place where Jesus was ministering in Capernaum. I want to make a statement that won’t register within your mind unless you are in the valley of desperation, but one thing is sure about desperation; “it simplifies our attitude and our actions”. The moment Jairus made the decision to go beg Jesus to come heal his daughter, all of his previous religious mumbo jumbo was quickly replaced with deep desperate direct dialogue that was seething with serious sounds of hope and neediness. Desperation had a desensitizing affect upon his very core, life was now simplified. His only option was to find an adequate source of hope to save his daughter from death.

“Men of my age live in a state of continual desperation.” Vita Sackville-West

A) Jairus Tormenting Pain overrode his Prestige

We now find Jairus laying prostate in the dirt, publically before the throng that was jostling for the attention of Jesus. The inward pain that he was feeling for his dying daughter was driving him to abandon any prestige that he had previously.

B) Jairus Tragic Position overcame his Practicality

Jairus is now begging Jesus to go to his home and lay hands upon his dying daughter. The verse says that Jairus besought Jesus; this phrase refers to him begging for help. The local leader of this city was now reduced to begging, because he was dwelling in desperation. His new position was one of doom, death, despair, and drastic begging. He wanted Jesus to fully understand that he was desperate and needed help.

III – Desperation and its Despairing Appeal (41 – 42)

Now we will see what drives one when they face desperation. Jairus is going to allow his despair to drive him literally from the point of horrific horror, to the very precipice of hazardous hope. He will fling himself unreservedly upon this person of hope.

“Hope is the dream of a waking man.” Aristotle

“Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A) The Specifics of his Appeal “His Heavy Heart - Natural”

Jairus heart was broken, this was normal and expected. The number one thing in his life was that life be extended to his dying daughter. He made no excuses; his prayer was for Jesus to heal her.

B) The Speediness of his Appeal “His Prepared Plan - Now”

I wonder if Jairus had already concocted a plan for the healing of his daughter. If we were honest most of our praying is nothing more than a road map telling God how, when, why, and what to do in resolving the situation we are currently encountering. Jairus knew the miraculous power that Jesus had and flung himself fully at his feet, hoping for the same results for his dying daughter.

Have you ever prayed to tell God what you wanted Him to do? Rather than operating off of hope, we try to manipulate the situation and offer a hand of help in concocting a solution.

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” Aristotle Onassis

"Desperation tends to make one sort of flexible." MacGyver

IV – Desperation and its Delayed Approach (43 – 48)

The plea has been delivered, now the results are in the hands of Jesus. The streets are running over with many other desperate people. The path narrows and Jesus is being besieged with numerous desperate please. This was not what Jairus had expected. In his mind, Jesus would hear his plea, immediately stop what he was doing and go to his home and heal his dying daughter. It didn’t happen like this. Jesus is now going to take time to heal a woman that has been sick for 12 years.

I find this to be very striking that Jairus daughter was about 12 years old and now this woman that was in need of healing had this blood issue for 12 years also. This woman had been sick as long as Jairus daughter had been alive. I think this is very insightful and reflective that God brought these 2 circumstances together. Jesus addressed this older woman as daughter; with Jairus standing there knowing his daughter was near death. On the one hand you have one that has been sick for 12 years, why could Jesus not wait to heal her one more day. The daughter of Jairus was laying on deaths door now, she needed Christ now.

A) Jairus and his Mindset “Delay did it mean Denial?”

As Jairus had to stand back and watch Jesus deal with this woman, did he think that this delay was going to mean denial? We do not like to face delay. It makes us wonder if delay means denial.

B) Jairus and his Musing “Delay did it mean Disaster?”

The entire time Jesus is ministering to this woman, the very life of Jairus daughter is slowly slipping away. Jairus may have been allowing his mind to consider the inevitable; his daughter would die due to this delay. The disaster that he was hoping to avoid was no beyond his control. I would think he wanted to pressure Jesus to leave this scenario and swiftly head to his house, and heal his dying daughter. The mental anguish he was facing had to be so overwhelming.

"A dog in desperation will leap over a wall" Chinese Proverbs

V – Desperation and its Deadly Anxiety (49 – 50)

Now the scene is going to for bad to worse in the situation with Jairus daughter. He had landed smack dab in the middle of the land of desperation. The local religious ruler, abandoned all dignity, prestige, and fell meekly at the feet of Jesus; begging for his daughter to be touched.

Then, without a word Jesus is interrupted before the journey had really begun. This woman with the issue of blood, had mysteriously touched him; and Jesus wanted to know the reason. The road was filled with people desiring to see Jesus, but this woman had an extreme faith. This lady desired to touch the hem of his garment. if she could only touch Him, she had enough faith that she could be made whole.

This lady stopped the entire party. Jesus recognized her faith and told her that her faith was enough to make her whole. She came to Jesus diseased but left delighted. The lady came to Jesus with an ebbing faith but left with an everlasting fame. I dare say that the faith of Jairus begin to explode within his soul. If Jesus could do this mighty miracle with a lady that had been diseased for 12 years, surely he could heal his 12 year old daughter that had been sick for only a small amount of time.

Then the situation changed, there came messengers from the home of Jairus, with the most horrible news the man could hear; the girl was dead. The messengers were very inconsiderate with their message. The men told Jairus that she was dead and that he needed to stop “troubling” the Master. This word trouble is only used 3 times in the bible and 2 of them deal with this specific story. They told Jairus to stop agonizing, inflicting his pain, stop bothering Jesus, the girl was dead.

A) The Worries that were Anxiously Mounting (49)

Have you ever been in a situation where things grew worse by the minute? I can almost feel every ounce of faith vaporize from the soul of Jairus. This would have been such an extreme situation. He had just seen this woman healed and his faith had flourished, but within seconds he hears that his precious daughter is now dead, his faith had now floundered.

It would have been hard for Jairus to keep his composure in this horrible moment. This was not how he had planned this to play out, he had drew up a much better plan in his mind, but not this, not now, not here. The inner terror of fear and doubt had to be dancing within every nerve of his body, screaming doubt, doom, despair, and defeat, all hope was gone.

Days of Grey

Days of grey too often I find

Thoughts of anxious encumber my mind

Arguments of sanity are lost

Unwilling to sever its hold at any cost

Sadness grips my throat so tight

Strangling, hope fades from sight

Overwhelmed by every chore

Notions of rational are no more. Darlene Lopez

B) The Words that were Agitatingly Massive (50)

Upon hearing the news about Jairus daughters death, Jesus is about to challenge every ounce of faith he has ever had. The Lord tells him something so simple, yet so significant; “Fear Not – Believe Only – and she shall be Made Whole”. Jairus had a choice to make, he could weep over the death of his daughter or he could postpone his tears and promote his trust. We all will be found dwelling in the land of desperation, and we will all have to either cry or cling. Jairus decided to cling to the words of Jesus and trust Him with all the faith he could muster.

VI – Desperation and its Daring Advocate (51 – 56)

Jairus is about to move from desperation to delight. The hardship of this situation is quickly coming to a hearty happy fulfilling conclusion. In this story we find that there is an adequate advocate for his desperation. Jesus is going to march right into the face of death and display his Sonship as the very Holy Son of God.

A) Jesus Silenced the Critics “The Loud Laughter” (51 – 53)

Jesus could care less about the dooms day crowd or the naysayers, He can and often does silence their mocking with one smooth stroke of divinity. Jesus tells them that the girl; is not dead, but that she is only sleeping. The weepers within the house nearly laugh him to excessive scorn, nevertheless Jesus marches past their unbelief and invokes His plan.

B) Jesus Saved the Child “The Last Laugh” (54 – 56)

Upon clearing the room of doubters and disbelief, Jesus took the girl by the hand and raises her up. With one stroke of divinity, Jairus is dancing in delight and moving from the land of desperation. It is an admirable thing to consider how good God is to his people in the midst of their desperation dwelling. Don’t you forget this fact, God will never abandon you.