When we are in a difficult situation and are desperate for an answer, we tend to do something, which we have not done in the past, or which did not even cross our mind. I heard a story of a couple who sold their wedding rings because of an urgent financial need. There are those who leave their families and fly to far off places for employment opportunities.
Many of us turn to the Lord when we feel hopeless. However, many would rather handle things themselves if they could. We try to depend on our own abilities when family affairs are running smoothly, when jobs are stable, finances are sound, health is good, marriage is stable, and everything seems to be going as well as expected. However, when there seem to be no options, we cry out and turn to the Lord for help.
There is nothing wrong with turning to God in times of dire need. By all means, let us turn to the Lord for help. There is a Gospel story about a synagogue official named Jairus whose daughter got sick for a long time. She was at the point of death. Jairus’s desperation has made him unconcerned for others’ opinion when he fell at Jesus ‘feet and pleaded to heal her daughter. Jesus laid hands on her, and she was healed.
This reminds us that we should not think twice about seeking God’s help. However, we do not have to wait for a crisis to happen to turn to God. God always wants to be closer to us. Since time immemorial, God has shown his tremendous love for His people in many ways.
Calling God only as a savior in times of need is just a part of the total dynamics of our relationship with Him. God is present in our lives as a friend, a father, and a creator, who does not stop renewing and transforming our lives. We will not be able to fully know His tremendous love for us if we turn to Him only in times of need.
Sadly, many of us look for almost anything, but God. Our world is more inclined to trust only on temporal solutions, rather than allowing our faith to accompany us in our struggles. We do not realize that God’s absence in our life will just make us more desperate. Turning to God provides lasting peace in our lives. As Jesus says, “Come to me all those who find life burdensome and I will give you rest.”
All of us have experienced desperation at some point in our life.
We should turn to God in times of need. If we have an illness, if our children are heading towards a defiant direction, if we suffer from financial, relational and other concerns, (even if we just have difficulty finding our cell phones or car keys!), let us turn to God. God’s promise of salvation and peace is the core of His teachings.
However, let us not wait until we become desperate before we turn to God. Our lives will be so much richer if we are sincere with our prayers even in times of prosperity.
Frank De Siano, Homilies: Sketches of Homilies on Sundays https://sites.google.com/a/paulist.org/desiano/homilies
Mary Healy, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture: The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: 2008), 105.