My son David: Mom, what is round and sad and goes in the back trunk?
Mom: I don't know, what?
David: De spare tire!
:: Mom rolls on the floor, laughing in utter delight ::
For some reason, perhaps because I am rising from a pit of despair, I absolutely love this joke! It seems to have a lot of dimensions to it, and if I'm am anything at all, I am a trans-dimensional individual. I mean, really, my despair is not something I wear on my sleeve - I would really prefer that it go in the trunk of my car so that I could go on my "merry" way and no one would realize that I was needy. And if I had a trunk on this vessel 'o mine, I would certainly put my "spare tire" in it, instead of wearing it for all the world to see.
Despair is something we need to take a little more seriously, however. In all honesty, I feel that it can be a good thing in my life. Growth in the Lord Jesus Christ seems to come in cycles in my life. I'll enter a season where my face is turned toward the Sonshine and the wonder and delight of God endlessly impresses me and doing the right thing is effortless! The transformation of glory - halleiluia!
Transversely, I'll enter a cloudy season, where my heart begins to drift from God and I am doing my own thing; never dreaming that I will falter in one area or another. It seems that I begin to sink when my heart begins to put it's hope in the wrong place.
The definition of despair is: To lose, give up, or be without hope.
Here are a few scriptures about hope...
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Romans 8:24-25 " For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
Romans 5:5 "Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
So my faith is the substance and evidence of things hoped for and not seen, I am saved by hope, and hope squashes my shame because of the Holy Spirit living in my heart. This is cool stuff! I think the Holy Spirit must be a hope generator. And when I am listening and obeying Him on a moment-by-moment basis, God becomes so evident; hence, my faith grows.
There doesn't seem to be any room here for despair.
So I think I'll just ask God to breathe some more air (pneuma) in my tires :-).