From the Mouth of Bae

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’? – Jesus

2015-06-23 17.05.29
Dr. Monkey Monster

My daughter is a talker.  The never shuts up kind of talker.  It’s like an ongoing social, emotional, and play by play commentary on the life of a 4 year old – 14 our of the 24 hours in the day.  Her opinions, her incredibly scary and accurate logic, and how much smarter she is than me.  To be honest, she talks in her sleep so I may as well count the rest of the hours, too.

Sidebar: Bad mommy moment.  I sometimes tune her out until I hear certain key phrases like ‘ouch’ or ‘Mommy, I’m talking to you’.  It’s a survival tactic.  End sidebar.

She talks so much that when she’s not talking or even just talking less, I know something must be wrong.

Well, yesterday she was talking less.  And coughing.  And snotting.  And oozing.  To the point where she kept a packet of Kleenex in her pocket – the kind that your mom or grandma always randomly had in their purse.

Then in the middle of the night she climbed into my bed and her little limbs felt like fire.  Needless to say, all of my mommy alarms went off.  But before I went in search of the thermometer I laid hands on her.  Old school style.  And since she was still awake and wasn’t sleeping well, the following conversation ensued:

Me: “Do you wanna ask God to help you feel better?”

Monkey: “I guess…”

Me: “Ok, go ahead, love”

Monkey: “Dear God, I hope you make me feel better….I hope that you heal me.  (Rare, thoughtful pause)….Thank you for healing me. Amen.”

Me: Whaaaattt????!!! (Silently in my head, not out loud.  I didn’t wanna scare the poor child)

Maybe you didn’t catch it, but what hit me immediately was her audacity.  Her knowledge that when she asks God for something, he hears her and will respond to her request.  Immediately.  So immediately that her prayer changed from hope to gratitude in the span of 20 seconds.  As in, it was already done.  As if her and God had a conversation on the phone and he was like “It’s handled, Monkey.  You’re welcome.”

Her ability, at the age of 4 to walk in the power and authority that God has already given us to speak healing, wisdom, and pretty much anything else that aligns with his will struck me.  She gets this at 4 years old.  I’m 31 and I still don’t get it most days.

If you’re anything like me, your prayers sound more like begging.  Those pleading, doubting, questioning, wondering, hoping – but only if you’re not too busy with all that other Big God stuff, Lord – kinda prayers.  As if God, who created and chose us, can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, or doesn’t have time to hear and answer our prayers.

And not to be that person, but I’ll give an excuse as to why many adults pray like scaredy cats.  We’ve let life, our fears, constant worrying, and solicited and unsolicited advice from friends acquaintances blind us to the blanketing power of God.  So much so that by the time we get down on our knees to pray, the truths he’d been trying to pour into us have been muddied or washed away.

So that night, I got a lesson in prayer from a toddler.  And I’m not ashamed.  Because I believe God used her in that moment to show me that I’m not praying big enough.  I’m not praying boldly enough.  I’m not praying in authority.  And I’m praying as if my fears, worries, advice, and situations are bigger than God.

Yeah, that would be false.

I also learned that I need to tune in to her soliloquy more often.  I might learn something valuable.  Because you know what happened?  Her fever was gone in less than 10 minutes after she hit that ‘Amen.’  Mic drop.

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’? Jesus asked.  Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’.” Matthew 18:3

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” John 14:13

“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2-3

The Pocket Jesus

 

“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house” Matt 5:14-15

pocket_jesus
 

Pocket Jesus from the internet.  It’s a thing.

 

First, let me start off by saying that I can’t believe Pocket Jesus is an actual thing.  But if it’s on the internet it must be true.

Moving on…

I have a confession to make.  I used to have (and sometimes still have) a Pocket Jesus.

You know.  The kind of Jesus that you take out of your pocket only in moments of convenience. When it’s ‘safe.’

Here’s how this usually goes down…at least for me.  When we need a financial blessing, a job, a man, or to win a big game – Pocket Jesus.  When you’re around your ‘churchy’ friends who don’t drink, curse, and can quote more scripture than your Grandma – he’s on full display.

But when things are looking up, when we’re feeling ‘blessed’ and living the good life, Pocket Jesus goes, well, back in the pocket.  Or perhaps those times when you’re feeling persecuted for your faith.  Or like that time you mentioned his name and one of those weird, awkward silences followed.  I mean, I’m pretty sure just the number of times I’ve typed Jesus in this post is enough to cause some discomfort.

Or when you’re around friends who might be unbelievers – you quickly put him waaaay down in the pocket (like the corner where all lint monsters are living) and keep your mouth shut.  Don’t wanna look like one of those crazy Christians?  Mission accomplished, in Jesus’ name.

I’m guilty.  I’ve done it.  But even though Jesus performed miracles, walked on water, and even defeated death, he can’t breathe in your pocket.  I don’t recall there being a pocket situation in any of the books of the Bible.  However, I do know that Jesus and his mission of love that he died to bring to this world will suffocate if we keep throwing him in there.

As a follower of Christ, your Jesus is meant to be on full display.  In every action, encounter, situation and conversation people should feel the love that resonated in his message.  Now before you all go getting all weird on me, I don’t mean pushing or peddling Jesus like you’re selling vacuums door to door.  But living a life where love seeps from your entire being and pours into every soul you see.  So much so that they are drawn out of curiosity to Jesus by the life you live and the words you speak.

Love God, love people, and let Jesus change them – and you – in the process.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” John 13:34-35

“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering.  What’s important is that God makes the seed grow” 1 Cor 3:6-7

“Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ” 1 Cor 9:19