It was late. So late that my eyes were burning and my head was hurting kind of late. My day had been blessed, but had been oh.so.full, and I breathed a slow sigh of relief as my head hit the pillow, thankful that days’ end had come.
Seconds after I closed my eyes, I heard a soft whimper coming from upstairs.
This happens to mamas, you know.
This sixth sense that children secretly have to suddenly need you the minute you sit for the first time in hours. I wish I could say that I was full of patience and grace that night, but this mama had had enough. I marched up the stairs, ready to firmly enforce our bedtime expectations. He would awaken the other children soon enough with his cries (which were getting louder by the second), and his attention seeking game to stay up later wasn’t going to work on my soft mama’s heart this time. This ten year old knew better.
I marched in his room and bent down by his bedside, ready to set him straight, when I suddenly realized that this might not be another scheme for “just one more drink” after all. My boy was visibly emotionally overwhelmed, now to the point of sobbing, barely able to speak.
I cupped his wet cheeks in my hands, and near exasperation, I begged for an answer. “Buddy, you have to tell me what is wrong. Why are you crying?”
And in such tenderness and humility, my boy collected himself and whispered – through heartfelt tears – the most beautiful words to this weary mama that night…
“He died for me. Mama, Jesus DIED for me.”
A flood of my own guilt – mixed with overwhelming love and gratitude - filled my heart, and I held that boy. Oh, I held him. And I listened as he told me that he hadn’t been able to sleep… not for the whole two hours since I had kissed his forehead and tucked him into bed. He couldn’t get it out of his head, that precious thought, and he had been sitting up in his bed, praying, crying, and thanking Jesus for the gift that he had come to understand in a deeper, more personal way that night - maybe more than he had ever understood it before.
He recognized who he was.
He recognized what Jesus gave.
And he couldn’t get over it.
So he ran to Jesus and thanked Him.
I eventually found my way back to my own bed that night, and as my head hit my pillow for a second time, I was now the one who was unable to sleep. Quiet and alone in my thoughts, I wondered…
When did I become so consumed with my vain attempts at self-sufficiency that I let myself forget the very depravity of my own sin?
When was the last time I had been so overwhelmed at the thought of the cross that I just.couldn’t.get.over.it?
How long had it been since I ran to Jesus to thank Him, simply because I was completely overtaken by grace?
“Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” ~ Luke 17:17-18
God, help me recognize who I am… a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.
God, help me recognize what Jesus gave… his very life as a ransom for many.
God, help your grace to consume me, so that I never, ever get over it.
God, help me to be the thankful 10%.
“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him…” ~ Luke 17:15-16
At His feet,