Sam, our five-year-old, wanted to go with me. He followed me around the house, “I just want to be with you.”
In the midst of getting a room ready for a little foster love, I had errands to run. A curtain rod here, an area rug there, oh and we had no food. So, I decided to take my youngest girl and my two nieces, a gang we fondly refer to as “The Pixies,” to town to run some “girlie” errands. The vandals, my three and five-year-old sons, went to my sister’s house, to hang out with her vandal.
Sam continued to plead with The Pixies.
He was distraught. Through his weeps, my youngest niece, Squish, tried to enlighten him.
“It won’t be any fun. We are going shopping for curtains.”
Still, Sam wept and pleaded, “But I just want to be with you!”
“No.” she explained. “We are going to have butt surgery; you don’t want to go.”
“What is butt surgery?” He begged.
Squish expanded, “It is literally the worst thing that can happen to a person. But, we will bring you gummy bears when we come back.”
Squish’s promise was of no comfort to Sam. Downcast he dragged his disappointed vandal self into my sister’s house where he would nap, watch a little Thomas the Train, and wait for us to return from “butt surgery” with gummy bears.
This anecdote is laced with possible lessons. Obviously, lying to toddlers and promising fruit flavored wonder chewiness is wrong. But, we will take that up later. The resounding gong?
“I just want to be with you.”
At all costs.
I just want to be with you. You can perform surgery on my bum. You can buy me gummy bears. Still, nothing you can threaten me with, nothing you can offer me can compare to with what it means to just being with you.
And this, this is a constant hum in my spirit.
I don’t want my relationship with God to be about getting something, or being spared something, or surviving something… I want to just be with Him.
Furthermore, I am humiliated to think that is how I have pursued Him.
That I have treated Him as a lucky charm or talisman. The God of the Universe, here to accommodate me.
I am not big on big on butt jokes, but Squish made me giggle. Her mother? I am not sure she thought it was so funny. But squish made me laugh and think. This morning when I woke, I stepped down on my injured foot and pain reverberated in my soul.
I fell back on to the bed and heaved sobs. I begged mercy and flat out begged God for a solution, a cure… restoration. Since my injury, I have been hobbled. I have gained weight. I have fallen from fitness and wellness to – uh, not fit and not well.
In the midst of injury, excruciating pain, and discouragement I realized He was still here.
At my worst, God still wanted to be with me.
And – I am forced to ask myself if I were never spared this thorn, this pain, this injury, would I still want to just be with Him?
Just basking in His Glory.
Would I pick Him at all costs? In an effort to avoid “the worst thing that can happen to a person?”
Would I pick Him just to get gummy bears, fame, or fortune?
Or would I pick Him because I simply just want to be with Him? I wish had a recipe for always believing He is enough. A recipe for what I can do right. But it’s more about what I did wrong, more about what I don’t do. He alone gets the glory.
He is enough. Today was one of the hardest days of our lives. And the best. Still, He is enough.
This place is where I want to stay.
A place where no matter the circumstances, the blessings, the curses, or the everyday… I just want to be with Him. God of Israel, King of Kings, healer of butts, giver of gummy bears, Alpha and Omega.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1