How Desperate ARE You...
Back in 1993 The Steeles had our very first Number One song. It was a song God allowed me to write about the biblical character known as Blind Bartimaeus. He is a very interesting man to study…at least to me anyway. What does the Bible tell us about him? First that he was a desperate man. Most of us hate the feeling that comes from desperation. Many great things though are born of desperate situations. Would Abraham Lincoln have ever run for or even been elected President of the United States if he hadn’t LOST so many (and there were a bunch of them) OTHER elections? Colonel Sanders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame) amounted to nothing until he was well into his 60’s…old, desperate and running out of time. Seven times at the bankruptcy court. You don’t think THAT will make you desperate? Yet Walt Disney was there seven times when he doodled on a piece of paper an image he had in his head of a Mouse named Mickey and old Walt would never be bankrupt again. Let your desperation push you to the edge of reason. Try something new, exciting and different. You’re already desperate…what’s the worst that can happen to you? Take a chance. Make an investment. Leave excuses behind and go forward today!
Yeah Bartimaeus was desperate. He was blind. He couldn’t see…anything! He was sightless. He took his desperation and turned it into a crazy plan. He meant to get the attention of the most famous man in town…Jesus Christ. Now Bart couldn’t see (not a lick) but he was a blue ribbon winning hollerer. He could out yell anybody he knew and THAT is how a desperate man developed a plan to get the attention of the Savior of the World. Of course we know (don’t we) that Jeremiah 33:3 says all we have to do to get His attention is to “call unto me…and I will show you great and mighty things that you don’t even know!” Doesn’t even have to be loud…just call. He probably would have never done it because he didn’t want to embarrass himself…but remember…he’s now driven by desperation and desperation will make you do a LOT of things you might NEVER do without it! You know like walk down an aisle…kneel at an altar, go to church… maybe make friends with a preacher!!
OK so he (driven by desperation) born of blindness starts screaming. Jesus…Son of David…Have mercy on me!! Over and over again…and again he keeps yelling. He’s blind and now he’s begging! Jesus give me something YOU have the power to give that I don’t have! THAT’S quintessential BEGGING! But he’s not just blind and begging…scripture says he’s beside the highway! All this behavior is taking place in full view of everybody! He isn’t like Nicodemas who came (trying to keep his visit secret) at night. No this guy is too desperate to be bothered by what others thought of him. It’s now or never! See he wasn’t just beside the highway yelling like a mad man he was also beside himself at the idea that Jesus…the one he had heard so much about was passing the same place where he was. You might say THIS was his fried chicken, Mickey Mouse, Presidential moment and he was just desperate enough NOT to miss it!! It’s a pretty desperate thought how close you are to dying without Christ. No second chances…no other way…no other hope! I believe Bartimaeus’ advice to you would be to jump up, act a fool, overcome your pride and do a little calling out to Jesus yourself. Romans 3:23 says For ALL (yes you too) have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The time is now. You’re not only desperate…you’re more desperate than you think you are.
I have a few medical problems that creep up from time to time. It will surprise some of you that they center around my brain! See some are surprised to know I even have a brain. Thanks to those of you in that camp. I will give you a second to contain yourselves. This morning I had to have a doctor ordered MRI on my (here it is guys) brain! I HATE MRI’s. The noise in those things is about deafening. It is really tight in those contraptions too. You have to wear something akin to a football helmet…at least the facemask anyway. You are almost constantly admonished to “not move.” Did I mention I HATE MRI’s?? Thirty minutes of no movement.
Today as I was in there my ear started to itch and so did my eye. I WOULD say it was a mental thing but since some of you have already decided I have no brain I won’t even bother. An itching eye and an itching ear are pesky anyway but when you can’t move to scratch it let me promise you IT IS WORSE! And so with about 17 minutes left to go in this gigantic electronic “coffin” the thought hit me to pray. Of course I thanked God that NONE of my children have ever been in one of these things! That got me to thinking that they have never been diagnosed with any type of life threatening disease. The one that was thus far told she could never have children is the mother of our two award winning grand babies…#butGod!!! Our son sings with us now and does a great job. He has become a wonderful songwriter and is the Worship Pastor at our church! The girls have married two very decent young men who have made me a proud father-in-law. By now I’m thinking to myself I can’t shout in this machine! I can’t move! But I am shouting in my soul!! Back to the eye and ear itch… I began to think about people I know who have those itch’s all the time and because of the inability to move they CAN’T do anything at all about it! They are at someone else’s mercy for something this small. I’m not one of them! In just a few minutes I will scratch to my heart’s content!
When the lady who administered the MRI got me out she came to help me off the table. She reached to help me stand up and apologized that she could only help me with one arm because she was lame in her other one. I raised both of mine and kicked one of my feet to make up for her bad arm and rather loudly proclaimed “glory” because BOTH of my arms are attached and working! She asked me why I was so happy and I told her what I have now written here. SHE said “glory?” She told me that” everybody who comes out of this thing comes out complaining about their experience” She continued “I have a major appendage that just doesn’t work and I praise the Lord for the one that does! I’m glad you’re happy today…you blessed me!” It just reminds me…are you a whiner…a complainer or a praiser? Which one am I? I used my time in the “electronic coffin” (did I mention I hate MRI’s) to turn this thing around. My mentor and longtime friend Dr. Jerry Goff penned it best when he wrote… “I am blessed, I am blessed! Every day that I live I am blessed! When I wake up in the morning till I lay my head to rest…I am blessed…I am blessed!!
You Are Not Alone!!
Jesus Christ said “take no thought for tomorrow…what you shall eat or what you shall drink or what you shall wear because today has enough trouble of its own.”
A few days ago I suffered a Grand Mal seizure. I was in the privacy of my own home. There was nobody here but me. Don’t cry about that. Think about all the times you are home alone for extended periods of time. It happens all the time. I didn’t even realize I had, had one until the next day! I ended up with a LARGE bruise on the right side of my back…a small stone bruise on my left hip and according to the doctors was very fortunate to have NOT severed my tongue. With no one there I would surely have bled to death. I made a big deal about having been here “alone” when it occurred and a preacher friend of mine from Kentucky texted me and quickly reminded me that I was NOT alone! Your point was well taken sir. Our middle daughter recorded a tearful video in which she said “we don’t know what happened in that room.” SHE said based on the success God had given our church that she felt like the Adversary had tried to take me out. I very much felt like I had been beaten…like I had been thrown around and beaten by a bigger, stronger man. I’ll tell you what I think…I think that when the Adversary was beating me and trying to deal me a “death blow” that he discovered what I discovered and that was that “greater is He that is in ME than he that is in the world!”
I’m not stupid…I KNOW I am going to die at some point unless the Lord returns first. However God Himself has set that appointment and there isn’t one thing Satan can do to kill me until God has predetermined that it’s my time to go! That should breed confidence in all of us. Yes Satan KNOWS our address. He knows where we live and there is “some” evidence that he has access to our domicile. God knows where I live too and scripture tells us that “the Holy one of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” He is on constant patrol around me and my “place!” Yes the Adversary can enter but he can never “sneak up” on me when God doesn’t know he’s coming! How breathtakingly reassuring that the Devil who would like nothing better than to kill me (steal, KILL and destroy me) cannot do it until God says he can…and a few nights ago God said he couldn’t! I have scrapes, bumps and bruises but think about the scrapes, bumps and bruises HE must have!! I only had to take the beating from him. HE had to take the beating from GOD!
One of my son-in-laws is a Chief of Police in the next community over from us. I often joke with him and tell him he should quit that job and become my Chief of Security. Hey… don’t laugh…have you ever heard me preach?? Chris…keep your “day job.” When I pass through the fire I will not be burned. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. It is appointed to me ONCE to die and God has set the appointment. No one can take me till then. I am protected…safe, sealed and to be delivered in God’s time.
Dr. Jeff R. Steele