At first I could not make out the phrase, but then the words became clear. You see, only about fifteen minutes earlier I had put our two year old down for a nap. Snuggling was his first line of defense in order to keep me in the room, which I have to say my husband and I both love the "nuggle", as our son refers to it. After about five minutes of "nuggling", which really turns into book reading, giggling, and a stuffed animal amateur ventriloquist show-secret side passion--I finally had to enforce the nap by making my exit. Shutting the door halfway I stood in the loft listening to him call for me to come back. I waited for his usual behavior of calling three or four times and fading to sleep, but this time he used words I had not heard him utter before. I heard our little boy speak these three words through what I could only guess was a tear stained expression,
"I need you".
I opened the door walked towards him and knelt down wrapping my arms around his sweet little body. He repeated these words. I reassured him that not only was I there, but I never left. I told him that I had been right there the whole time only a few feet away. He calmed down and rolled over to sleep. As I left the room God took this experience and taught me a lesson I hope to never forget.
Years have gone by, but I remember that day when the words "I need you" spoke so much to me. That day, my son was letting me know that he did not think he could do life without me and he wanted my help. What a respectful way to use these words! Those three words showed vulnerability and honor to me as his loving parent. This is such a reflection of God’s desire for us to need Him and actively pursue Him in such a way.
On the other hand, from the tone of the first time he called out this phrase his words seemed laced with fear or worry. Even though I had repetitively given my word that I would be right outside of the room. Calling out to God in our time of need can be a respectful show of faith, or it could be the exact opposite. This is the two approaches that our son expressed that day. The first was out of fear and clearly troubled him, "I need you!". The second was respect and was filled with peace, "I need you."
I am not perfect, but I do show God's love to our children, however I am quite aware that some children have never received this kind of love from parents. I know that there are children out there who have grown up never experiencing any such peace when they have uttered those three words, "I need you." to a parent, spouse, friend, or even God. I share this with you, because when I came out of my son's room God spoke to my heart some very important truths about His relationship with me and His relationship with all Christians, which are written in His Word.
- Know that I am right here and unlike a parent, friend, or spouse I am never apart from you because I live in you (1 Cor. 6:19)
- Know that no matter what you may feel like or what you may think "I will never leave you, nor forsake you," (Deut. 31:8 and Heb. 13:5)
- When you actively pursue Me with your heart, not your mind, you will find me, (Jer. 29:12-14)
As "a work in progress", like a two year old boy challenged with a much needed nap, we too can be challenged with weariness. We must remember this "I need you" lesson. Crying or calling out to God is not in question, but rather we if we exam our motive behind our words we can have peace when we call out to God. Both times my son cried, but only one of these was a weeping peace, because He believed that I would keep my word and be there for Him. Therefore he was able to sleep, rested, and secure, knowing that I was there.
God is here, there, wherever we are, because He loves us. The most amazing thing is that as we call out to God, "I need you," He is saying these words back to us. "I need you too - just as you are - A Work in Progress”.
"I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust,"....."He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge,"
(Ps. 91: 2 and 4)