The Welcome Spaces of My Life

“Oh Lord Jesus.”

I rubbed my forehead as the words came out. How many times have I raised my voice today? How often do I have to correct them before they finally get it?

Sometimes the best I can do is saying those three words. Sometimes prayer doesn’t come naturally, and all I really want is to feel less alone. So I say His name, and I welcome His presence in the ugly, frustrating parts of my life.

He’s here. He’s here like the air I gulp in, and He doesn’t take a break from me. It feels that way, doesn’t it? We get sucked into trying on our own, forsaking our needs, ignoring our constant Companion, and we assume He’s rolling His eyes at our stupidity. Oh, Lord Jesus. Are You ever embarrassed of me?

Sometimes His name is the best I can do. I imagine He hears it and simply scoots closer, like a Daddy sitting next to His kid on a bench. His little girl is working ever-unsuccessfully on a puzzle she can’t get right. He’s been watching the whole time, always available. The quiet calm of His instructions become like background noise as she hears her own voice, narrating her every step and the steps to come. Her voice only gets louder as the puzzle gets harder, more complex, drowning Him out.

I am her. I get so loud. I get so frustrated. And finally, when I can’t listen to myself anymore, or my voice dries up from the rage, I hear Him again. And it’s all I can do to say His name, as He’s sitting next to me, telling me again and again the next step in this puzzle. “Come on, baby girl. Try again. We can do this together.” He’s smiling at me. Always kindness in His eyes.

It is not easy welcoming God in. I want to do it all, and I want to do it all well, and I want someone to tell me what a good job I have done. Come on, I want to be impressive. I want the world to remember me for being a ground shaker.

But the ground I walk was made by Him. It was crafted in His creativity, made to fulfill His purposes. And if I forsake this call, He will surely find a way to complete it whether I partake or whether I do not.

He is not a God who neglects; He is a God who coaches and instructs and has an eternal amount of time for me. He isn’t rolling His eyes. So I say His name. I say it again and again, and I stop toiling. I quit worrying. I ignore the desire for perfection and adoration, and I see Him, next to me on this bench, with kindness in His eyes.

Oh, Lord Jesus. You are here for my best, for my worst. You are here for my loud voice talking over Your own; You are here for when I remember I don’t have the next steps. You do. And with kindness in Your eyes, You scoot closer when I call, saying what is true: “Come on, baby girl. Try again. We can do this together.”

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