December 27, 2016
The Real Me is Here
Being with You will fill me with joy; at Your right hand I will find pleasure forever (Psalm 16:11, NCV).
Friend to Friend
Our seven-year-old grandson was very sick and in the hospital for seven days. Justus had both a bacterial infection as well as a serious viral infection. His fever spiked to 106 every night for five days and for three of those nights he was listed code red as his heart rate increased and his oxygen levels decreased.
The doctors from Infectious Disease scrambled to figure out which bacteria were causing Justus’ illness. Finally, after four days of all questions and no answers, they switched antibiotics and Justus finally began to improve. We all cheered when his fever only reached 102! And I took my first breath since the moment he got sick.
Our daughter and son-in-law stayed with Justus day and night. So his little brother Hudson stayed with us. I knew Hudson was terrified. It seemed like the most important three people in his world were locked in a hospital … and his best friend, his brother, was very sick. I made a special bed for Hudson beside our bed where I could reach down and pat him during the night … or hold his hand … or just stare at him and pray.
One night I was getting Hudson ready for bed. We went through the usual routine of taking a bath, picking out special pajamas, brushing teeth, reading a book and then praying. Hudson prayed for his brother every night, pleading with God to make him well so he could come home. Before tucking Hudson in for the night, I went to brush my teeth so I wouldn’t wake him up later when I came to bed.
When I walked back into our bedroom, I stopped dead in my tracks. Our daughter had framed recent school pictures of Hudson and Justus and given them to us as gifts. We placed them on the bookcase in our bedroom so we could pray for them every morning and every night. Hudson had gotten the picture of Justus and sat it on the floor beside his bed. When I walked into the room, Hudson was talking to the picture, “Justus, I love you so much! And I really, really miss you! I am telling God how much my heart hurts without you and that I need Him to make you well.”
I didn’t hear the rest of Hudson’s conversation with his brother. I was crying … and pretty much losing the control I had wrapped around my heart since Justus was hospitalized. I finally pulled myself together enough to pray with Hudson and tuck him in for the night.
When Justus finally came home, Hudson could hardly stand it! He was ecstatic! He kept hugging Justus and kissing him on the cheek. Justus finally said, “Hud, Mama told me you slept with my picture by your bed. Did you?” Hudson grinned and nodded yes. Justus smiled and said, “Well, now you don’t have to sleep with my picture. The real me is here!” Hudson’s faced beamed with joy!
And I thought about my own life … my own heart … my own relationship with Jesus Christ. Scripture promises that the Lord’s presence brings joy.
And yet … there are many times when my life does not exude that joy.
Maybe I have forgotten what it was like when I first met Jesus - the wonder of His presence in my life. At times my life is too crowded for God.
It is so easy to relegate our spirituality to religious activity when all He really wants is to spend time with us. When the tears fall, He wants to wipe them away, collecting each one so that He can pour them back into our lives as a refreshing rain of restoration. God longs for us to forever run into His arms, sharing every hurt and rejoicing in every victory. The Father yearns to wrap His strong arms around us, bringing the peace we so desperately need.
I desperately want the Father to bring back the new again … and live a life that celebrates the amazing truth that the real Jesus is here.
Father, I sometimes I feel like my life is spinning out of control. I’m tired of the imbalance I see in the way I live. Help me learn how to establish priorities that please You and reflect Your plan for me. I commit to spending time with You each day, seeking Your wisdom and direction. I love You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Are you ready to evaluate your life according to God’s priorities? Set aside time today to spend with Him. Grab your journal and record the truths He gives you about how to balance your life.
More from the Girlfriends
A daily time alone with God in prayer and Bible study will strengthen you to face whatever life throws at you this year. Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. It’s not too late to join … and have access to all of 2016 lessons including the series, Taking Down the Giants in My Life.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Tuesday, 27 December 2016.