Living like we don’t need Jesus. It’s not the best way to live. Yet, there were many years as a young adult where I did exactly that. I loved Jesus, but I didn’t need Him all that much. Or so I thought. And most days, that’s how I chose to live. Except on Sundays. I went to church on Sunday mornings. It made me feel better knowing I had gone. It made me feel better knowing the people in my life knew I had gone. I was all grown up and still choosing to attend church. And though I’m thankful I never quit going, I mistakenly thought attending church was enough. It was not.
I seldom turned the pages of my Bible outside of church. I seldom thought about true, heartfelt, honest prayer. I really didn’t need to – I had this adulting-thing figured out. On the rare occasion I truly needed help, I knew where to turn. But in the meantime, I was enjoying life as a twenty-something. Life was good.
But goodness doesn’t last. Disappointment, trouble, heartache and pain come sooner than expected and stay longer than we’d like. Whether it’s navigating marriage, children, stress at work, relationship conflicts, or a hundred other things, life is anything but easy. Can I just say it? Life is hard. When it’s hard, we realize much of what we’ve busied ourselves with isn’t all that important.
I don’t remember when I first realized I needed Jesus every day.
Maybe it was when I realized I had little control over the health of my children. How would I keep them safe and well? Perhaps it was a disagreement with my husband or the overwhelm I felt in caring for these children God had given us. How would I ever get this right? How could I be a better wife? A better mommy? Was it even possible when I felt so exhausted? Maybe it was the realization that one could feel lonely even in the midst of a home filled with children’s laughter and a husband’s love. Why do I feel as if something is missing when I’ve been given so much?
Because something – someone – was missing.
I don’t recall when my can’t-do-this-without-you need for Jesus became real to me. It was more of a process than a single happening. I would hit a rough patch, realize I needed help and turn to Him. It was through that process my need for Him became synonymous with my desire to simply be with Him.
He had already been my Savior; He had now become my friend. Someone I longed to spend time with, to pour out my heart to, to share my disappointments and pain with, to walk through the ups and downs of life with – that’s who He became to me.
When I think back on those early days, I see my mistakes clearly. Sunday morning church carried me only so far into my daily interactions with the world. By choosing to not pick up my Bible, I was allowing the influence of the world to outweigh the influence of God’s truth. There are times I still struggle with this, but I recognize it sooner now. I can tell right away when I’ve failed to spend time with Jesus – and those around me can probably tell, too.
Friend, what about you? What habits do you practice to keep from falling into the world’s view of life? What habits do you need to implement? How can we make the reading of God’s word a priority in our lives? Let’s start today by opening our Bibles and spending time with the One who’s always with us. Jesus, our Savior. Jesus, our Friend.