Key Verse: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
It’s 3:30 in the morning and my two and a half year old son is crying.
Again. “Mommy! Mommy!” he whimpers desperately in his sleepy little voice. I sigh deeply, awakened for what seems like the millionth time in one night, and stumble out of bed. In his room, I gently tuck him back into bed, whispering, “Shhhh, it’s all right. Mommy’s here. Mommy’s not leaving you. Go back to sleep.” After what seems like forever, his chest softly rises and falls, the sound of his deep breathing assuring me that he has returned to a peaceful sleep.
It hasn’t always been this way. In fact, he has
never in his almost three years of life, had any problem sleeping through the night. He has always been a great self-soother, falling asleep most nights listening to his crib mobile. Up until a couple of months ago, for that reason I was the mom most moms were jealous of, and I loved telling my friends how blessed I was to have such an easy child.
But in an instant that has all changed and I’m at a loss as to why. Is he scared of the dark? Is he weary of sleeping alone in his big boy bed? Is it just a stage that will quickly pass? Oh, I’m hoping so. But either way, in the midst of enduring the crying
fits when bedtime rolls around, sitting in his room waiting for him to fall asleep, or waking in the wee hours of the morning to sit with him, almost falling asleep myself exhausted from a long day of toddler tantrums and struggles, I have felt the still small voice of God whispering to my heart, “He just wants to know you’re there, just as you desire to know I am there for you.” You see, all my son wants is my presence. He doesn’t need me to bring him toys and stuffed animals, hold his hand through the night, or enfold him in an everlasting hug. He just wants to know that I am with him; that I’m not leaving him alone. That is enough for him. Of course I would never leave him, and I am there. Even when it feels like I’m not, I’m just a walk down the hall. I would NEVER leave him alone. How could he ever think that, or be so insecure in my love, my care for him?
Pondering these thoughts, I realized in my relationship with God, I often feel the same way. Alone in the dark, frightened by the unknown, uncertain of the future. Crying, screaming in the silence, broken, and feeling so, so alone and abandoned; even though I know I’m not; even though I know He’s there. Sadly I realize that often I am insecure in His love and care for me, and sometimes, like my son, I just need that reassurance. That comfort of feeling His sweet presence, the knowledge that He is by my side, right there beside me even in the dark. Through the storms of life, and probably even more so during those times, I NEED to feel Him there. And every time I need Him, He is so faithful to reach out and prove to me His love and show me that He has never, ever forsaken me. Even though He’s been there all the time, He understands that sometimes His children just need to feel Him near.
I’m reminded of what the psalmist David said in Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” It’s the ideal perfect place, the place of contentment and joy and all good things. In God’s presence, right by His side, safe and secure and loved. No matter what happens, Jesus is with you and He wants you to know that He is enough! He truly is all you need, and wherever you are, you are NOT alone. No matter how dark your world looks or how alone you may feel, comfort yourself with Jesus’ reassuring words, “I will NEVER leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Let yourself long for and be fulfilled by His sweet, loving presence. It’s alright to be vulnerable, to be needy, to desire a touch from the Savior, because that’s why He came. And He is near, oh, so near to each one of us.
Father God, I come to you in Jesus’ name. I thank You that you sent Jesus to take my place, to redeem me from sin, and to die the death I should have died. I thank You that when He died, He tore the veil that separated me from Your presence, and now I can live in close and fulfilling fellowship with You each and every day. Help me to know that You are near, to take time to hear Your voice, and to experience your nearness. I thank You that You never leave me or forsake me, and that no matter how I feel or what I see, I can rest secure in Your never-ending love, and in knowing that You are always with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.