The deeper I know Jesus, the newer I feel.
It’s nuts, really. The further in I go, the more His truth washes over me, and the more infinite the world seems.
I’ve just come through one of those seasons when I was far away from Him but didn’t really know it. I’d started to feel so stinking old. All the specialness of life seemed like it had been squeezed out. The world honestly felt hopeless. I was watching too much news and not reading enough of the good news. I felt like ISIS and the election and injustice looked as though they had the upper hand.
I felt knee deep in the proverbial poo.
It’s not a good place to be. Cynicism was creeping into all of my conversations and I really wanted most people to just leave me alone. I didn’t even want to chat with the deli lady at Kroger, and I like her. The world was suddenly full of irritating people. I even started working on a book titled “Everyone’s an ***hole but Me”. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?
One night, though, I had a conversation with my youngest child that shifted everything away from me and put my focus where I needed it to be.
He was telling me that while at a friends house he found an ‘Egyptian coffin’ in a pile of Legos.
“Oh, that’s called a sarcophagus,” I told him.
“Well, I call it a coffin,” six year old Liam said. Then he asked, “What do you think it’s like in a coffin?”
“I don’t know,” I answered, wondering where this rabbit hole of a conversation was going. It was late and I was wanting to get caught up on Twitter.
“Well, the next time I’m in a coffin I’m going to take a sweater because I think it will be cold,” he said.
“Liam, if you’re in a coffin you won’t be alive and you won’t be cold, honey. You won’t need anything.” This was not the bedtime conversation I’d been hoping for.
“Mom, what if I am? I should take a sweater just in case.” His sincere, brown eyes pulled me away from my phone. I worked to reassure him that he would not need a sweater.
“Mom, I’m having that fear again. That when I die I’ll just shut my eyes and everything will be black and I’ll be cold.”
My heart hurt for him because that is a fear I am all too familiar with. My heart hurt because this is something that I cannot fix with peanut butter jellies and bike rides.
Liam is only six but he is a deep thinker. He won’t be pacified with answers like, “Don’t worry about it.” He wants Truth, even if it’s hard.
I climbed into bed with him and shared the promises of Christ. I shared with him that while we don’t know what heaven will be like faith in Christ guarantees an eternity with Him. I shared that the One who loved us so much he came to earth to rescue us on a cross will never leave us. I shared that the One who created us smiles when we smile and cries when cry. He promises us heaven and He will not let us down. I don’t know what it will be like, but I tell my Liam that Jesus has made my life so full of good things here, even among the hard things, that I know the world after this one will be amazing.
As I talk my little one lays his head on my shoulder, patiently listening.
“Mom, that’s enough,” he says. “I’m going to sleep now.”
His eyes close and that’s it. My little boy sleeps peacefully, his worries seemingly cared for, at least for today. I can’t stop thinking about our conversation though.
There’s always a choice: embrace the fear or embrace the Truth. I can’t choose both. Moving away from Christ is never accidental. It happens when you put your focus somewhere else, when you don’t feed the flame.
I have to be able to answer my kids’ questions honestly, truthfully, and accurately, and I can’t do that if I’m not spending time in scripture. It doesn’t make the poo go away, but reading God’s word is like wearing waders. The bad stuff won’t taint you even when you’re knee deep in it.
It’s a simple choice, really.
So I dive in deeper and when I come up for air I’m surprised to feel new. Again.
Linking up at #TellHisStory. Click on the link to read other shared stories with Jennifer Dukes Lee.