My nephew Tyler was a little shy about his relationship with me and so he did something interesting one night. We were riding in the back of the car from an evening out to dinner or something and he pretended to be asleep. You see, he understood that if he were asleep when we got to his house, that I would carry him in and tuck him into bed. Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen him watching me, so I knew he was awake. I loved the fact that he wanted that moment with me enough to pretend to be asleep.
I wonder if Jesus felt that way with Nicodemas in John 3? Nick was embarrassed or scared for anyone to know he wanted a relationship with Jesus so he came to Him at night. Do you think Jesus felt the same way I did when Tyler pretended to be asleep to so he could have a special little stolen moment with me? I wonder what I could do today that would make Jesus feel that way again?
OK – Here’s the second story in my series of “Stories I Need to Tell.”
I am happily married and hope to one day have children of my own, but for right now the closest thing to that for me is my nephews. I have three – Tyler, Tucker, and Tanner. When they were younger (Tyler was maybe 4 or 5) they would get really excited when Uncle Teve (that’s what they called me) would come into town. I lived about 4 hours away so it was a rare treat to get to see me – besides that – I’m the only uncle that they have. I think one of the reasons they liked it when I came in town was because I would play dinosaurs with them. We’d crawl around on the ground growling at each other and wrestling a bit like we imagined dinosaurs did.
Anyway, one particular trip, Tyler wanted to sleep with his Uncle Teve. Of course I was honored by the whole thing. When the time came for him to go to bed, I readied myself and he snuggled up next to me. I had my arm stretched out to one side and he got right up in there and layed his head on my shoulder. It was beautiful! We talked a little and said our prayers and then I watched him as he fell asleep on my arm. This was a new and really cool experience for me. I treasured each moment ’cause I knew it probably wouldn’t last long, and it wouldn’t be that long before he’d grow up and not want to be near me like that. Tyler just laid there and rested – he felt comfortable there next to me and treated me as if he belonged to me. As I relished the moments, I soon realized that my arm was beginning to hurt. There was this pain working it’s way up my arm and a simple adjustment would probably fix it, but I didn’t want to disturb Tyler or waken him. As the pain grew, I fought through it to cherish more time with him. I continued for as long as I could until it felt like my arm would just fall off – it probably wasn’t very long ’cause I’m a wimp, but anyway there’s the story.
Here are my thoughts on the whole thing. I wonder how many times God wants to cherish a moment with me and I just ignore Him or never even make it into the bed to be next to Him. Tyler truly was excited that I was there with him and wanted to spend every moment he could with me – Do I treat God like that? The pain that I “fought” through to cherish that moment with Tyler was nothing in comparison to the pain that Jesus endured on the cross for me. Does the Lord take pleasure and joy in me like I did with Tyler? What does that mean for me? How should I respond to that kind of love? Do I rest with God? Am I comfortable with Him? Do I treat Him like I belong to Him? How can I give Him moments like that?