Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

“By You”

 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…

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4 thoughts on ““By You”

  1. Email Girl on said:

    I knew He was by me when I was a young girl, lying on my bed, crying into the night…pleading with Him to show me where He was…and He did…He was by me.

    I knew He was by me holding me up that day I was 15 and I finally got the courage to say no…to refuse to continue to be a victim of the thief that robbed me of my innocence, of my childhood. He was by me.

    I knew He was by me the day that thief that robbed me, lost his life and gave me mine back. He was holding me in His arms that day, whispering in my ear that everything was going to be okay…for me, for my children…for my children’s children. He was by me.

    I knew He was by me that day I found myself in a country not my own, crying and questioning His very existence, questioning if He was anywhere besides home. He showed me He was when He led my Bible to fall open to Psalm 139 and showed me exactly where He was. He was by me.

    I knew He was by me that day in the nursing home when I was alone with my new father in law who was eaten up with cancer and could no longer speak. I could read his eyes as if he could talk and he told me what he wanted to do…where he wanted to be…and I was strong enough to help him. He was by me.

    I knew He was by me when my daughter was conceived in the weeks following 9/11. I was so very sure that it would be wrong to have another child in such a cruel world…and yet He showed me that indeed life does go on. He was by me.

    I knew He was by me when I was told I would almost surely loose that baby for my body wasn’t ready to support her life. He was by her as she grew anyway and kicked and thrived and survived. That delicate little life continued to grow, even through the tremendous stress of loosing two family members suddenly in 3 days. He was by us both.

    I knew He was by me as each of my precious children were placed in my arms for the first time and I learned of a new kind of love…a mother love…a love without condition. He was by me.

    I knew He was by me when He led me to cross paths with an old friend…probably the only person in the world I would have been able to hear when my world was falling down around me. He put that person there to save my life…to bring me back…and to show me God by example. He was by me.

    I know He is by me…even when I have trouble seeing Him. I know He is there because of the wonderful people that surround my life. Without Him, they wouldn’t be here…they wouldn’t have even known I needed them. He is by me.

    ~ Thanks Doug, for the little lesson in “seeing” Him. I needed that.

    DEAR E-MAIL GIRL, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL TESTIMONY YOU HAVE SHARED WITH US HERE ABOUT YOUR FAITHFUL FATHER GOD. WHAT YOU HAVE SAID LEADS US TO WANT TO LOVE HIM MORE. AND THAT IS NO SMALL THING TO ACCOMPLISH BY YOUR STORY. AS WONDERFUL, LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE AS OTHER HUMANS MAY BE TO US (AND THIS IS NOT TO BE DIMINISHED), THERE IS STILL ONLY ONE WHO CAN ALWAYS BE WITH US, WHEREVER WE GO…WHO HAS THE POWER TO KEEP SOUL AND BODY TOGETHER…WHO CAN LEAD US THROUGH THE DARK, DARK VALLEYS OF LIFE…OF PAIN…OF BETRAYAL…OF ABUSE…OF SIN…OF TERRIBLE STRUGGLE. AND HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY YOU…IS BY YOU STILL. I JUST BELIEVE THAT AS YOUR WORDS WERE DICTATED BY YOUR HEART…YOUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER WAS LOOKING ON WITH SUCH ADMIRATION OVER YOU. WELL SAID…WELL SAID.

  2. You know I don’t know how to explain it other than God said he would be with us, He would Never Leave us or Forsake us. I feel God’s presence in my life often. I know it thru people he puts in my life, I knew it when we
    we have lost our loved ones to death in this life. I don’t believe I could have got thru some things like this without my God and His People. When I lay down at night sometimes I wonder how I have got this far with some uncertainties that have happened along my journey. And God has always been there to take care of my Mom and me. Some things that seem like…”Isn’t this a coincidence how this turned out?” And then I realize that God must be helping me beyond my comprehension. I know my God loves me even though I am not worthy of it but because of my Jesus I am worthy. And I do say that Boldly because that is what I know. Jesus is with me even when I don’t realize it all the time. But when I stop and think and look back I know it is SO. When I have times to meditate and ponder my life’s journey I know this is SO. Sis Gail

    SURELY THE MOST COVETED AMONG THE GIFTS GOD GIVES US TODAY IS THE GIFT OF HIMSELF. AND TO BE CONFIDENT IN HIS PRESENCE WITH US…SO THAT WE ARE ABLE TO BELIEVE HE IS ALWAYS WITH US…ALWAYS IN US…WELL, THAT IS A WONDERFUL GIFT TOO, ISN’T IT? IT’S TRUE THAT HE WILL NEVER SLIP OUT ON US. HE’LL GO WITH US THROUGH ALL OF THIS LIFE AND INTO THE NEXT. WE WILL NOT BE ALONE. JESUS DIED A GOD-FORSAKEN DEATH SO THAT WE WOULD NOT HAVE TO. AMAZING GRACE…SUCH A SWEET SOUNDING TRUTH…THAT SAVED WRETCHES LIKE US. OUR SONG NEVER AGES. FOR HIS GRACE IS FRESH AS THE MORNING DEW.
    I AM GLAD TO BE A FELLOW HEIR WITH YOU OF THE GRACE OF THIS LIFE AND THE NEXT. GOD BLESS YOU, SIS.

  3. God … I need to remember to place myself by You. I know that You are there … always. But sometimes I feel myself turning my back to You or looking the other way. It’s usually because of what I’m feeling about myself … I know You are faithful, but I’m not. When I begin to put distance between us it’s because I’m feeling indifferent about myself. How can I allow myself to sit so close to One that is so beautiful when I feel so ugly?

    I ask that you create a desire in my heart … a comfort … that makes You the One I run to when I feel ugly and alone. I know that being by You makes me beautiful. I don’t want to run away from all the good … I want to be by You.

    YOUR PRAYER HELPS OTHERS OF US, PAIGE. THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO LISTEN IN AS YOU OPENED YOUR HEART TO YOUR FATHER GOD. I AM SO OFTEN BLESSED BY OTHERS’ PRAYERS. IT HAPPENED AGAIN HERE. I HAVE TRIED THE SAME THING…SO VERY MANY TIMES. I HAVE TRIED TO PUT DISTANCE BETWEEN GOD AND ME. I HAVE SHUT HIM OUT SO OFTEN IN MY DETERMINATION TO PURSUE SOME EVIL…AND THEN BECAUSE OF MY FEELINGS OF UTTER SELF-DISGUST. I DISQUALIFIED MYSELF FROM REALLY BELONGING TO HIM. I BELIEVED I NEEDED TO WALLOW IN MY FAILURE. THIS ISN’T WHAT GOD WANTED. IT WAS MY OWN MISGUIDED, PATHETIC ATTEMPTS TO PROCESS THE EVIL WHICH SO OFTEN PLAGUES MY LIFE THAT I AM TEMPTED TO RE-DEFINE MYSELF IN TERMS OF THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT. BUT, AS DAVID SANG IN THE 139TH SONG, WHEREVER I RUN, THERE HE IS. AND WHEN WE FINALLY WEARY OURSELVES WITH OUR DISTANCE SEEKING, WE COLLAPSE AND FIND OURSELVES FALLING INTO HIS EVERLASTING ARMS OF LOVE. ALL HE EVER WANTED TO DO, AS WE WERE RUNNING THE OTHER WAY WAS TO COMFORT US…TO HELP US UNDERSTAND THE BEAUTIFUL THING HE IS MAKING OF OUR LIVES. MAY GOD ANSWER YOUR PRAYER AND GIVE YOU THE DESIRE OF YOUR HEART.

  4. I have been by Jesus. I sat in a car confessing all the stupid, shameful things I had done in the years since I had seen this particular friend. He listened…nodded…understood…never once acted shocked or ashamed. He held my hand as I tried to stand on my feet again…as I stumbled toward the path that would lead me home.

    My son, when he was little and would get tired, would hold his hands up and say “hold you”. I would say, “Oh honey, I wish you could!” It’s one of our sayings still. When any one of us get tired, we look at each other and say “I hold you”. 🙂

    JUST TODAY I WEPT AGAIN OVER MY SIN…MY SHAME…ALL THE DAYS…ALL THE WAYS…I FRUSTRATED GOD’S PURPOSE TO USE ME TO BE A BLESSING. I MOURN THE YEARS THAT THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN…BUT (AND THIS THOUGHT IS TOO WONDERFUL FOR ME–I WEEP NOW EVEN ECHOING WHAT GOD SAID THROUGH HIS PROPHET JOEL [2:25])…BUT GOD IS ABLE TO RESTORE TO US ALL THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN. TELL ME, SHERRY, HOW HE CAN DO THAT? I DON’T KNOW…BUT I AM JUST SO GLAD TO BELIEVE IT. I AM GOING TO BELIEVE IT. I DON’T DESERVE IT, BUT I AM GOING TO BELIEVE IT. WHEN I HAVE WEPT OUT ALL MY BLINDING TEARS AGAIN, HE IS STILL THERE…CARING…WAITING…WANTING ME…READY TO BE MY STRONG TOWER…MY REFUGE…MY COMFORT…MY GOD.
    I LOVE THE PRECIOUS MEMORY YOU SHARED REGARDING YOUR SON (HOLD YOU?). WHEN YOU KNELT DOWN TO TAKE HIM INTO YOUR ARMS, I KNOW THAT YOU FELT, AT TIMES, THAT HE WAS IN FACT HOLDING YOU. ISN’T IT SO GOOD WHAT GOD REVEALS TO US THROUGH OUR CHILDREN? MAY FATHER GOD GRANT THAT YOU AND YOURS ALWAYS “HOLD ONE ANOTHER,” EVEN IN THOSE DAYS WHEN LIFE TAKES YOU AWAY FROM EACH OTHER SO THAT YOU CAN’T HOLD EACH OTHER IN YOUR ARMS…YOU STILL DO SO IN YOUR HEART.
    SO GLAD TO BE SHARING HIS LOVE WITH YOU…D

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