Vicki and I recently returned from visiting our CA family, including our newest beautiful granddaughter, Rilyn, and her big sister, Remi, and their parents. As we became re-acquainted with Remi and played with her. I noticed that at times she would climb up and take a seat on the couch and look at me and say, “By you?” That meant she wanted me to sit beside her…to just be near her. Those two words ring in my heart today as I am 2300 miles away from her and would love nothing more than to be by her again.
When my daughter was a little girl, I would come into her room every night I was home to spend time with her…to talk a while, to pray…to kiss her goodnight. Some nights I was able to take more time than other nights. Whenever I entered she would say to me, “Take your gas off.” By ‘gas’ she meant my glasses. She knew that if I took my glasses off and laid them on her dresser that I would be staying longer in her room that night. I love that she wanted me to be there and to stay as long as possible. It gives me no little joy to tell you that to this day we love to be with one another. I praise God for the joy He gives us in one another’s presence.
There was a day when James and John wanted to be by Jesus…one at His right and the other at his left hand in the Kingdom. But, sadly, it wasn’t only His presence they desired. They were looking for prominence. Jesus responded to them with incredible patience. He helped them adjust their desire to include ‘greatness’ and not mere ‘prominence.’ It’s as though Jesus said, “If you truly want to be with Me, you will find Me out among the needs of a suffering humanity where I will be serving. Come and be ‘by Me’ in service.
I, too, want to be ‘by’ Jesus…to look upon His lovely face…to see Him in all the glory the Father has given Him because He loved Him before the creation of the world. I know I’ll want to sing forever of His amazing grace. Cares all past. Home at last. Ever to rejoice.
But I don’t have to wait to be ‘by’ Jesus. I have had some wonderful moments in my life…moments that came disguised as daily life…daily service…when I tried to reach out to help another human and suddenly became aware of Who it was looking back at me through their eyes. I found myself ‘by’ Jesus when I went to share Scripture, prayer and some time with an old, arthritic, shut-in saint, named John, for whom pain was a constant companion. I found myself ‘by’ Jesus as I watched another Christian in the hospital room of a dying, young, newly-Christian, mother…when he took her hand and became Christ’s hands and heart and words to her. I found myself ‘by’ Jesus one day in Haiti where I had traveled to try to serve human need and saw the Lord looking back at me in the eyes of young Haitian preacher who inspired me forever with his first hearfelt words to me when he said, “We must love Jesus Christ.” I have been ‘by’ Jesus as I listened to a weary, sick preacher friend break the words of life to hungry souls and was astonished again at his teaching for he taught them as one who loved the real Jesus Christ and meant every word he said and was energized in the act of sharing.
I could go on here, but I’d rather hear from you…tell us of a time when you suddenly became aware that there was one more Person in the room than you at first realized.
Lord, please remember us. Let us be ‘by’ You in obedient service…and to be ‘by’ You there in all Your glory…one of these days…