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What Can I Do in a Desperate Situation?

What you can do when facing the unthinkable.

In need of help

Some events mark our lives forever. There are happy ones such as a wedding day, the birth of a child or the purchase of a first home. But too often we dwell on the unhappy ones—a death, a job loss, a broken marriage. These are the situations that call for desperate prayers.

There is one night that I will never forget; it still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it. It was November 2010. My wife and I received a call that our son had been in a terrible car accident. I remember who called us with the news, the ride to the hospital and the shock of seeing our son lying on the gurney in the emergency room.

He was distressed and physically shaken. Although he had some cuts on the back of his head, he appeared to be in better shape than we expected, and in much better shape than the driver who was badly injured. Unfortunately, one of the individuals in the other car died on impact.

It wasn’t long before we learned that my son had broken three neck vertebrae and needed a spinal fusion. My wife and I turned to God in the most desperate way for healing and a successful surgery. It was a long and tough journey, but God heard our prayers.

The words found in Scripture came to mind, “Call on me in the day of trouble.” And we did. We cried out to God with all our energy and strength hoping for an intervention, healing and comfort.

We prayed, “Help our son…help us, God!” There were times we felt powerless, but not alone. Our friends prayed with us; they too sought God on our behalf. On the days my son had no emotional or spiritual strength, we were his voice. And God heard our desperate prayers and the prayers of our friends as our son recovered.

What can you do in desperate situations? Pray! In our distress, pain and inconsolable moments, we can turn to a compassionate and merciful God of all circumstances. We can trust that our prayers will get us through the hopeless and despairing moments. All things are possible with God.

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