Savior, the one who desires to work through one to reach another for Him
Servant, the one who regardless of the circumstances presses to do His will
Despair, the one who cannot overcome his own circumstances and gives up and in the end surrenders to the Savior via the Servant.
Despair – holds no other hope but to completely give up, the taste of gun metal in his mouth as he is overtaken and beside himself by the unrelenting march of bad things happening to him.
Servant, the one who has hope while the overwhelming march of distractions and bad things bombard his life – he seeks His will and service.
Savior, who is all knowing and loving and desires that Despair will simply turn his life over to Him.
Servant, presents despair over to Savior as we see the final moment of despair’s life
Despair’s phone rings in the background as he checks his bank account balance on the slow computer. The balance is gradually comes up and discloses that a checking account balance of negative three dollars has overdrawn his account. The recorded message on the phone call he just avoided is from a debt collector. The sum of sixty five thousand dollars is owed from his foreclosed house that was lost six and a half years ago. He wonders if bankruptcy should have happened, which alters the financial course of one’s life for up to seven years. If only he had done this, the sentence of debt collection would be past and almost fully in the past. Should he seek this now and compromise the next seven years?
Meanwhile, Servant has been awake for hours. Nine o’clock is mid-morning to him. He has spent time with His Lord today. Seeking the Lord on his knees and feeling overcome with the forgiveness he’s been granted, the hope that fulfills him and the strong desire to give the love he has away and to share it with another. It hasn’t been easy at all for Servant. The waves of disruption and warfare thunder often in his life, yet cannot swift him off the track of pursuing His Lord.
The Savior’s eyes are too magnificent to capture in our language. The warmth that He exudes is so familiar to every creature and person that is in His presence. It is an incredible thing that millions unknowingly reject Him – if they only knew the insurmountable love that He has for them. He cares for them. He knows them. He knows Despair and all that punctures his hope. In a solitary second He could unravel the complicated links that bind him up in blindness and fear. His love casts out all fear and in His unending loving heart He longs for Despair to completely give up and turn to Him. He will so forgivingly snap Him up and never let him go, but He must be sought. He told us all in His Word that we should seek Him first and all will be added to us, so simple that it is overlooked unless our heart is ready. But He wants him and wants us all. He wants us to know how much He has done for us and is always willing to do. He works though us, like Servant, who has turned to Him and is in His service.
Servant has now begun to pray those hard prayers. The prayers that he is not sure he can really commit to, but wants to. The prayer is this. “Lord, use me to do anything you want today. I will go where you want me to go, I will say whatever you want me to say, I will be whoever you want me to be, please use me Lord!”
Savior, He knows Servant and the desires of his heart. The grace of Savior is so great that He is willing. Willing to work through Servant today, though servant is weak, Savior is strong and He is made great in servant’s weakness. He is about to work though servant to connect despair to Himself. It is amazing that millions of people have been born and spend their time on earth striving to learn why they are here. In the case of Servant helping despair, we will see the answer – the meaning of life.
Servant, he knows that on his own he can do nothing. In fact, he can quickly turn to sin and fall right back into the familiar cycle. He means it though. He wants to be used by Savior and knows Him. His life has been transformed and he is not the same person he once was. It’s strange that what he once loved and desired has all been replaced. Replaced by the love and strong passion to know Him and to serve Him and introduce Him to others. Servant knows the truth and the author of it.
Despair has had enough. The phone calls, the struggles, the overwhelming burden that continues to pull him down. He can’t do this anymore. He wonders about the taste of metal, imagines the barrel of his 22 caliber rifle in his mouth. He has nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to. He isn’t thinking clearly, almost dream like as the days are sweeping by his smooth forehead. There is an emptiness in his heart to match the dull vacant sparse in his innards. What would it be like? The bullets are in the gun case and could be loaded -- reach the trigger either with a toe or stretched arms could reach it. He’s at another stoplight and worries that if he runs out of gas, his cash card won’t work. Will he be stuck? He’s tired.
Savior sees his car and know despair’s thoughts from afar. He also has just heard the prayer of Servant and knows that these two can meet. He will design a moment that will bring despair to Him. He won’t control Despair or his response, but knows the sincerity of Servant’s prayer and knows his heart.
In a moment, Despair will see a great light and find himself at a very special moment where he can move out of the darkness and into this great light.
To Savior a thousand years are like a day. Even for us, there are times when amazing things happen that are more precious and valuable than a decade of our lives. This is one of those times.
Servant heads out to the garage and gets into his car. He smiles and thanks Savior as it starts, even this is a blessing. Warning lights illuminate on his dashboard as he looks and there is just enough gas to get him through for the day. He thinks of the prayer about daily bread. He whispers again to Savior, thank you for this daily bread. Savior has fed him and kept him another day, and this is a very special day.
Servant doesn’t think about the flat spare tire in his own trunk or the fact that when he called his bank this morning he had only three dollars and thirty five cents. His radio works and he plays a song that deepens his love for Savior. The day is bright and he loves the people he will see today, even those he’s never met.
Servant is ready for his day and he is not afraid.
Despair’s light turns green and his car pulls forward. He notices a slight hesitance but quickly speeds up to 30, then 40 and can see the store only a half mile away. He drifts back to what to do about the problems he has. There are too many to focus on, but maybe there will be enough money for the things he’s bringing back to the store that he can buy gas and a little lunch. His mind begins to calculate gas mileage over the distance he will drive today and what is left over can get him food without a drink. He’s nervous as he figures out how he can return these things and get money back right away. He parks and heads in.
Servant is smiling and talking to the cashier. It doesn’t occur to him how he appears. He’s thinking about how much Savior loves the cashier he’s speaking with and how valuable they are. To the cashier, Servant seems to have an unusual warmth about him. He seems happy, no joyful and also has a really peaceful way about him. Part of the conversation moves toward money and the economy. Servant confides in the cashier that although he lost his house to foreclosure and has very little money, “yet God has been with me”. There is an ease of how he is sharing private things. The cashier’s eyes are going to water, but are held back by a workplace.
Servant doesn’t realize that he is doing what he read in God’s Word. His God of all comfort has given him (servant) comfort, so that he can give this same comfort to someone else. Just then he notices a man behind him in line, who has been listening and has an armful of things – a receipt in his hand, about to make a return when servant is finished. It also seems that the man has been listening this whole time.
Despair has been listening this whole time and forgets the hurried posture that he came into the store with. He is surprised that the man ahead of him in line is speaking this openly. He’s not used to hearing people share private things. Even more, this man doesn’t look like one who would lose a house or know these problems. The words, “God has been with me” that he heard the man say lit something inside him.
Savior has just set down his matches. The something that was “lit inside” Despair was sent in a moment by Him. He’s done this for him before, this isn’t the first time – but he loves despair and doesn’t want to give up on him. The something has been lit – now Savior gets servant to notice it. This moment is not an accident. Even thousands of years ago, savior knew about this moment. Savior knows everything! He knows everything about us – and yet, He loves us
Just then, servant is caught by something. It’s like the prayer that he prayed this morning is being responded to – and he can feel it. There is something keeping him in the line, at the store, in front of despair. Everything is beginning to slow down and his attention is drawn to a sad face behind him. He turns and for the first time sees despair and looks closely into his eyes. There are stories in a man’s eyes, sometimes they are easy to see – other times hidden. Savior has given servant a special quality for exuding his love and also a keen perception for other people’s feelings.
Despair can see him now. He is startled but doesn’t want to show it to the stranger. But the eyes of this man are different, white on the insides and very warm. Somehow they are familiar – though he’s certain he’s never met the man. Despair doesn’t know what to say and is a little uncomfortable. He would usually shy away from any eye contact and certainly any conversation, but the morning has made him willing to take risks. The man who has given up and is at the end of what he can handle – initiates conversation with servant.
“I lost my house too.”
Even though it had happened so long ago, he may have never spoken these words outside in public before – and that’s when it happened. Despair’s eyes reddened and he could feel. It might be hard to understand this – when you read that someone can feel you have to understand that before this time he really wasn’t feeling. But now the blood was draining from his head and he felt a rush of emotions come over him.
Servant noticed. It wasn’t hugely noticeable to the cashier, but servant was ready. He thought about his prayer that morning to the Savior and began to see that he could be used – and then he prayed again. Lord, if this man needs your help today, I’m here and want to be a part of it…amen.
This was thirty years ago. Despair became filled with Jesus Christ that day and became friends with Servant.
In the last moments of his life, he lays there thinking and smiling with hopeful anticipation. He can’t wait to see the Savior’s face. He knows he will be spending eternity with Him – worshipping and praising Him forever and ever. Along with the man he met thirty years before – in line at the store – Servant.