August 18, 2019: The 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!”

“Lord, keep me desperate.”

This is a prayer that has been my rock for many years. When I am opposed, heartbroken, hated, and abandoned by the world, my desperation for the One Who Remains naturally increases. Desperate people seek. They yearn and groan and thirst. What they do not do is lie complacent.

When things settle down, when I get over that heartbreak or feel accepted by the world again, I tend to relax my prayer and slip into complacency. I stop seeking. I stop yearning and thirsting. Why seek God urgently if you are no longer urgent? But as we see in our readings this Sunday, Jesus came to make us so! Our second reading from Hebrews 12 says, “Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” Think about those words, “lose heart”. I often associate it with giving up while in a bad situation. But for many of us, “losing heart” is about giving up while in a good situation. When we no longer desperately seek God, we are “losing heart”!

When that job is finally paying off, the baby is sleeping through the night, the relationship is working out, or the grades are holding steady, we might be tempted to shoot up a quick, “Hey thanks Jesus!” and be on our merry way. But it is during this time that God desires from us a greater zeal and passion for Him. “I have come to set the world on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” is Jesus’ own desperate cry. Think about this—God is desperate for YOU to be desperate for Him!

A hard-earned fruit of suffering is learning how to deeply rely on God.Don’t waste that fruit or throw it away! Keep yearning, keep seeking.

And Lord, keep us desperate.

Jennifer Stavinoha lives in Bryan, TX with her husband and two little girls. She loves reading, baking, and judging international figure skating from her couch. Jennifer is the Content Coordinator for Ablaze Ministries’ parent outreach ministry, Beyond the Pew.