A couple of weeks ago there was a terrible accident where a distracted driver ploughed her car into a school building. Two 8-year-old boys were killed and others injured. As one little boy lay dying he said, “I want my Mum.”
When the crunch comes, we just want Mum – one who genuinely and deeply cares. For an 8-year-old, that’s often Mum. This sad story didn’t cause me to reflect on motherhood, as much as it triggered a pondering on how I pray, “I want you, Jesus.”
Do I? Do I want Jesus as desperately as that little boy wanted his Mum at that moment?
Honestly, often, no.
This is despite that I have clearly shown myself that doing life on my own doesn’t work well. Despite the reality that I too, like you, am ‘dying’, and rational thought sees eternity is the main game and this earthly life is only a shadow, a sigh in time. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Jesus is who he said he is – the one holy God.
A couple of weeks ago I was caught up in the wave of hopelessness and grief which sometimes washes over me when I visit my dear close family member and notice her ongoing deterioration from dementia, and remember the vital, curious, engaging and engaged person she used to be.
At the beach soon after I cried out to God as I looked across the ocean. Other areas of grief flooded in as if to a spontaneous ‘grief party’ – a beautiful friend’s broken marriage, a teenager’s chronic pain, the suffering people of Yemen, Syria, etc. The wave was building into a tsunami! How do I hold all that pain, grief, disappointment? Help!! “I just want someone to partner with me in all this,” I pleaded to God, “someone to share this deep sadness, for whom it isn’t unknown or overwhelming.” His response came to me instantly: “I will partner you.”
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you [Isaiah 41:13].
In a few seconds everything looked different. Feelings of thankfulness and joy rose in me. Brighter, lighter, I jumped into the car. This is what repenting looked like for me that morning. Not a brow-beating self-loathing. I have done that too. It is obvious to me that I am sin-full. This was my response to a real call of God to turn back to him and to remember He is the one who saves. “I want you, Jesus.”
What does it look like when you repent? I’d love to have that chat with you. Language around repenting often pushes me into a defensiveness. Yes, I know; that too is my sin. But what does a winsome invitation to repent look like for you?
I suspect Jesus (on earth) invited those to repent who knew their brokenness well, with a softeness in his voice and compassion in his eyes. Deadly serious AND full of mercy.
Happy repenting to the one to whom we can safely say “I so need you.”